Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., 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) opened in downtown Springdale. 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.

“Innovation has been a fundamental part of our success for almost 85 years,” says Noel White, president and CEO. “This facility represents our commitment to creating the next generation of manufacturing solutions through advanced automation, robotics and machine learning.”

The 2-story, 26,000-square-foot facility features 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 building itself 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.

“The key to TMAC’s success will be the collaboration of world-class talent bringing expertise from all aspects of processing,” says Doug Foreman, director, engineering. “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.”

In addition, the company will engage with local schools participating in robotics competitions to further drive awareness and the importance of educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

TMAC’s first collaboration is with Don Tyson School of Innovation, a technology-rich STEM school based in Springdale.