Perfume robots sniff out next big opportunity at Tonsley

A local South Australian firm that is developing automated technology for the flavour and fragrance industry is moving to Tonsley Innovation District, lifting the lid on the ‘flavour economy’ and demonstrating the company’s taste (and nose) for success in what is now a burgeoning multi-billion dollar sector.

 

Worth more than USD $24 billion worldwide, the flavour and fragrance market involves the infusion of new products with specific smells and tastes in order to enhance the customer experience. Applications include anything from fine perfumes, shampoo, toilet paper, hand sanitiser, candles and cosmetics to laundry detergent, chocolate, beverages and car upholstery.

1. ADS team: L-R: Jenny Harding (Accountant), Jai Strempel (Project Manager), Masoud Bahmai (Managing Director), Reza Shojaee (Engineer), Sam Fotheringham (Engineer).

Now Accurate Dosing Systems, a passionate Lonsdale company that manufactures purpose-built robots to accurately measure out thousands of aromatic oils that are used in the creation of formulas for specific flavours and fragrances, is re-locating its operations to a brand new tailored facility on Tonsley’s main promenade.

The idea is to utilise Tonsley’s collaborative, entrepreneurial culture and international network to grow the firm’s global reach and impact, while tapping into the extensive automation expertise that exists within the district to elevate the business’ approach to robotics over time.

Masoud Bahmai, co-founder and Managing Director of Accurate Dosing Systems, says that the move to Tonsley will enable he and his team of engineers to work alongside like-minded specialists in highvalue manufacturing and partner with the higher education sector to innovate new designs for their advanced range of ‘dosing’ robots.

Our most high-end robot—called Quanta—is the ‘Ferrari’ of our robot range and is able to generate a sample scent or flavour 30 times faster than a conventional dosing robot, allowing formulas to be created in seconds instead of hours,” Masoud Bahmai, Managing Director of Accurate Dosing Systems

The appeal of Tonsley was compelling for the Accurate Dosing Systems team, given the opportunity to move into a custom facility that, once completed, will provide a showroom, increased office space and an impressive welcome experience for existing and future clients.

“Having clients come and see us at Tonsley Innovation District will give us a wonderful customer interface, and one that says ‘we are part of networked innovation community and we make worldclass products’,” says Masoud.

“Our Tonsley headquarters will also help us attract and retain talent in engineering and automation, as we are situated alongside global automation firms such as SAGE, Rockwell and ZEISS while also being co-located with Flinders University’s innovation hub, which encompasses teaching and research in related industries such as computer science, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles,
information technology, engineering and mathematics.

 

“We hope to grow our team of five engineers to about twenty engineers over the next five years, so being located in a place where we can expand effectively over time will be crucial to our ongoing success.”

Quanta Robot

Renewal SA Project Director for Tonsley Innovation District, Vince Rigter, welcomes the arrival of Accurate Dosing Systems, the first of its kind to join the Tonsley community, and believes that the ever-increasing number of automation experts on site is having a positive and significant impact on South Australia’s competitive advantage in this sector.

Once again Tonsley is demonstrating that a culture of community and shared access to infrastructure, talent and emerging knowledge across the innovation sector is what manufacturers want and need in order to accelerate the development of their products and grow the scale of their operations and output Vince Rigter, Renewal SA Project Director for Tonsley Innovation District,

“Tonsley not only facilitates trust-based networks between organisations with common ground, but breaks down traditional barriers between industry, academia and the government so that genuine cross-sector collaboration and innovation can co-occur more rapidly.

“The arrival of businesses such as Accurate Dosing Systems supports and expands the existing innovation ecosystem at Tonsley while providing the company with a fertile environment for sustainable growth, job creation, technological advancement and increased commercial success—that is great news for local manufacturing and for our state’s economy.”

The only manufacturer of dosing robots for the flavour and fragrance industry in Australia, with its nearest competitors based in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and France, Accurate Dosing Systems is a local success story.

Established four years ago in Lonsdale by Masoud and his two co-founders, Mark Pitcher and Andrew Fotheringham, Accurate Dosing Systems began with a single prototype design for the original Quanta robot and found early success at the 2018 World Perfumery Congress in France.

The firm now exports its dosing robots to food and fragrance manufacturers across the world. The robots developed by the Accurate Dosing Systems team have helped transform a traditionally labour-intensive industry into one that offers high-accuracy, short manufacturing lead times, reduced cross-contamination and a small machine footprint.

“Unlike the robot designs of some of our international competitors, our Quanta robot is compact, attractive and light—this means it can be assembled in a multitude of spaces, which is part of our commitment to providing flexible and practical dosing solutions,” Masoud says.

“People may not realise that a fine fragrance can contain up to 120 different ingredients, so a superior level of automation is required to measure and dose raw materials in the right quantity, while protecting a client’s intellectual property and maintaining the highest product standards possible.

“Between us, the team has more than 50 years of accumulated knowledge of the flavour and fragrance industry and we are leveraging this to develop the best dosing technology in the world.

“We know that our new home at Tonsley will give us the platform we need to future-proof our business and take flavour design and production to a new level.”

Construction of Accurate Dosing Systems’ new headquarters is expected to be completed by March 2022 and will be located at Lot 101, MAB Eastern Promenade, Tonsley.