USA, Springdale, Ark. Tyson Foods, Inc. has created a new, state-of-the-art facility designed to help the company develop more automation and robotics for its food production plants. The Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center (TMAC) officially opened in downtown Springdale on Thursday.
The center provides 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 investment is part of Tyson Foods’ focus on continuous improvement. The development of new technology and processes will help improve efficiency and workplace safety.
The two-story, 26,000-square-foot 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. The company has invested more than $215 million in automation and robotics in the last five years.
In addition, the company 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.
TMAC’s first collaboration is with Springdale’s Don Tyson School of Innovation, a technology-rich STEM school. It embraces flexible and blended learning, allowing for a fast-paced and project-based learning environment that promotes student success.
The Don Tyson School of Innovation’s robotics team will travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 24-27 to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge. The annual, international robotics Olympics-style event brings together youth from around the world to share in their passion for STEM. The company announced a $15,000 gift to help offset travel costs and ensure the entire team can participate in the competition.
TMAC marks the third major development project Tyson Foods has completed in downtown Springdale since 2015. In July 2016, the company opened a 28,000-square-foot building at 516 E. Emma Ave. named the Tyson Foods JTL Building. The facility houses the Tyson Company Store and approximately 75 team members. In November 2017, the company opened a 56,000-square-foot building at 319 E. Emma Ave. named Tyson Emma, which houses approximately 300 Information Technology team members.