Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale said Thursday that it had officially opened a new 26,000-SF facility to help the company develop more automation and robotics for its food production plants.
The Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center (TMAC) in downtown Springdale provides space for developing new manufacturing methods and tools. It will also serve as a site for collaboration among information technology workers and equipment suppliers, as well as employee training on new technology, the company said.
"Innovation has been a fundamental part of our success for almost 85 years," President and CEO Noel White said. "This facility represents our commitment to creating the next generation of manufacturing solutions through advanced automation, robotics and machine learning."
The two-story building has four main areas, including space to train workers and a lab that simulates a food production environment. The building was previously used to service vehicles for the company's poultry business.
Tyson said Doug Foreman, its director of engineering, will manage day-to-day operations of TMAC with assistance from Marty Linn, who spent 34 years at General Motors. The company said it will work with local schools participating in robotics competitions to further drive awareness and the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education.
Tyson said it has invested more than $215 million in automation and robotics in the last five years.