These roasters aren't that different from what you'd see in a small coffee roastery, but they're unique within the canon of Starbucks because they allow a higher level of flexibility. One of their master roasters equated the process to throwing darts. Even the pros miss a few times before they hit the bullseye.
Operating at such a large scale hasn't allowed Starbucks to experiment as much with smaller micro-lots, because it takes a few tries to correctly dial in the roast and there isn't room for error in massive production plants.
So, the smaller scale of this facility allows Starbucks to operate more like a boutique third-wave roaster, but with the purchasing power of a multinational corporation.