In an era of rapid technological advancement, Tyson Foods has emerged as a leading force in integrating automation and artificial intelligence (AI) into its enterprise and plant operations. The company’s commitment to safety, efficiency, accuracy, and profitability was on display during the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit. Tech groups nationwide, including the Tyson Foods Global Technology organization, gathered in Rogers, Arkansas, to give keynote presentations. Balaji Viswanath, managing director of IT emerging tech, architecture and software engineering, along with Adam Clark, vice president of IT Fresh Meats, Poultry and Prepared Foods, showed hundreds of summit attendees how Tyson Foods has strategically leveraged advanced technology such as geo-fencing for enhanced safety, AI enabled computer vision for auto identification and quality control, advanced analytics for supply chain optimization, robotic automation of manufacturing processes and ground breaking utilization of generative AI to streamline and drive quality into its operations.
Clark described the importance of knowing Tyson’s business objectives and desired outcomes before pushing technology solutions. “It’s not tech for the sake of tech, but rather business outcomes enabled by tech,” he said. Clark highlighted some specific opportunities for the company, such as a pre-labeling operation that was labor-intensive, error-prone and demanded significant real estate. A cross-functional team including Operations, IT, and Engineering defined what success would look like and then developed and deployed proprietary machine learning models and computer vision technology with the result of products being automatically identified in-line, enhancing accuracy, and streamlining the labeling process. This innovative approach not only optimizes resource utilization but also reduces the margin for error, ensuring that each product receives the appropriate labeling with precision and consistency.
Viswanath underscored the importance of Generative AI and how Tyson’s approach to deploying it was value-driven. He emphasized that while Generative AI is still evolving as a discipline, Tyson is a front-runner in terms of adoption for the right use cases. Initial deployments have created a lot of interest by delivering quick value.
Clark and Viswanath also emphasized that the approach Tyson was taking on technology was one of starting with a business problem in mind and seeing incremental value as a stepping stone toward scaling solutions. This ensured that investment was optimized and spread out and the value justified the investments.
Tyson Foods is poised to set an industry benchmark, showcasing the ways technology can be harnessed to elevate operational efficiency and empower employees. For more information on the Tyson Foods Global Technology organization, visit https://www.tysonfoods.com/technology-careers.