The Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center (TMAC) has been opened in Springdale, Arkansas. The center is designed to provide space for the development of new manufacturing solutions and collaboration with the company’s information technology team and equipment suppliers. It also serves as a location for team member training on new technology.
The two-story, 26,000ft2 facility features four main areas: a machine vision technology lab, a lab that simulates a food production environment, training classrooms and space for team members to train in automation and robotics technology.
The center is in a building that was previously used to service vehicles for the company’s poultry business. Reclaimed wood from the company’s original headquarters was used in the renovated building.
“Innovation has been a fundamental part of our success for almost 85 years,” said Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “This facility represents our commitment to creating the next generation of manufacturing solutions through advanced automation, robotics and machine learning.”
The company has invested more than $215m in automation and robotics in the last five years.
“The key to TMAC’s success will be the collaboration of world-class talent bringing expertise from all aspects of processing,” said Doug Foreman, director of engineering at Tyson Foods. “Their skills and the resources within this facility will allow us to create solutions that will make a difference in the lives of our team members and create value for our business.”
“The creation of the Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center is a key enabler for the company to collaborate and bridge the suppliers in the automation industry with their production facilities,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation. “Tyson Foods’ drive to implement robotic and machine vision automation technologies will help them be more competitive on a global scale, provide a safer environment for their team members, and more efficiently provide safe, quality food to people around the world.”
In addition, Tyson will engage with local schools participating in robotics competitions to further drive awareness and the importance of educational opportunities in areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
TMAC’s first collaboration will be with Springdale’s Don Tyson School of Innovation, a technology-rich STEM school. The Don Tyson School of Innovation’s robotics team will travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24-27 October to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge, an annual, international robotics Olympics-style event brings together youth from around the world to share in their passion for STEM.
Tyson announced a $15,000 gift to help offset travel costs and ensure the entire team can participate in the competition.