USA – Tyson Foods has established a new state of the art facility in Arkansas, US, designed to help the company develop more automation and robotics for its food production plants.

The Tyson Manufacturing Automation Centre (TMAC) in Springdale, will enable for the development of new manufacturing solutions and collaboration with the company’s information technology team and equipment suppliers.

TMAC is a two-story facility sitting on a 26 000 square foot land which was previously used to service vehicles for Tyson Foods’ poultry business.

The new 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 facility builds on Tyson Foods’ efforts to explore ‘next generation’ manufacturing solution which has seen the company invest more than US$215m in automation and robotics in the last five years.

“Innovation has been a fundamental part of our success for almost 85 years,” said Noel White, president and chief executive, Tyson Foods.

“This facility represents our commitment to creating the next generation of manufacturing solutions through advanced automation, robotics and machine learning,” Noel added.

According to a FoodBev report, Doug Foreman, director engineering at Tyson Foods, will manage the operations of the facility.

“The key to TMAC’s success will be the collaboration of world-class talent bringing expertise from all aspects of processing,” he said.

“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.”

Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation, added: “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.”

According to the company’s 2019 financial year report, capital expenditures for fiscal 2019 will amount to approximately US$1.3bn.

Bulk of the expenses will be invested in production growth, infrastructure replacements and upgrades, and operational improvements “that will result in production and labour efficiencies, yield improvements, and sales channel flexibility.” ​

“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,” ​added Burnstein.