SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods, Inc. has opened its downtown Springdale Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center (TMAC). Designed to help the company develop more automation and robotics for food production, the facility also serves as a new technology training center for Tyson team members.
“Innovation has been a fundamental part of our success for almost 85 years,” said Noel White, president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. “This facility represents our commitment to creating the next generation of manufacturing solutions through advanced automation, robotics and machine learning.”
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 former service building for Tyson Poultry Division vehicles was renovated with reclaimed wood from the company’s original headquarters. The TMAC is part of Tyson’s focus on continuous improvement, development of new technology and processes to help improve efficiency and workplace safety. In the past five years, Tyson has spent over $215 million in automation and robotics.
“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. “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.”
Mr. Foreman will manage the day-to-day operations of TMAC with assistance from Marty Linn, who spent 34 years at General Motors, 18 of those as the principal engineer of robotics and the manager of advanced automation.
“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.”
Tyson will also partner with local schools in robotics competitions to drive awareness of the importance of educational opportunities in areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
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 facility at 319 E. Emma Ave. named Tyson Emma, which houses approximately 300 Information Technology team members.