Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Tyson Bets on Robots to Tackle Meat Industry's Worker Shortage

  • Trump’s immigration stance exacerbates labor tigthness
  • Technological advances make machines faster, more accurate
Qingdao Beer

Photographer: Adam Dean/Bloomberg

When you visit a meat plant, humans are completing tasks like stacking pallets and packing chicken drumsticks. But Tyson Foods Inc. thinks robots can do it all.

The U.S. meat giant is betting that automation and robotics can alleviate a worker shortage that has long hampered the industry. The company has built the 26,000-square-foot, multi-million dollar Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center near its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. At the facility, engineers will apply the latest advances in machine learning to meat manufacturing, with the goal of eventually eliminating jobs that can be physically demanding, highly repetitive and at times dangerous.