The Red Zone

The Red Zone

I was recently asked what services Blackhawk provides and it caused me to ponder on what we accomplish as a custom software solutions provider within the repetitive manufacturing community.


In short, we provide the services needed to increase the opportunity for companies to win in today’s highly competitive environment.


In football, there is a colorful term that is used to describe the twenty yards closest to the end zone. It is the starting block from where the vast majority of points are scored. The more often you work to get into the red zone the more often you will score and have that winning season.


There is a similar behavior in the repetitive manufacturing world. It is where the opportunities for excellence are found and change implemented. It is where efficiency improvements are measured in improving efficiency percentages not just meeting what management has determined as a minimum. It knows that the paper process is the acceptance of inefficiency and the building block of every great manufacturing decision is fundamentally digital.


This is the red zone for the manufacturing community and those who do not excel in these areas of digital excellence will never compete.


So, what does this mean when it comes to what are the services that we provide?


As a group, my team enjoys the challenges that come when we need to automate (digitalize) the highly critical aspects in the repetitive shop floor. We enjoy building sequencing solutions because of their multi-focused nature. We also specialize in solutions like kitting and manufacturing in sequence, machine (PLC) interfaces as well as automated production recording, production ANDON boards, and scheduling. These intense manufacturing requirements demand a new level of accuracy in inventory control and warehouse management.


Do we custom write solutions for every customer? Well no, but twenty years ago we started developing a tool kit that we use to serve every digital automation need of the plant. These tools (and in some areas full applications such as sequencing and warehousing) provide a quick start to providing what the customer wants on a solid base of well-designed/fully tested code.


So, for those plants who either do not want to get into the arena of shop floor software development or would rather be using their staff to make quality parts, we are the ideal solution for repetitive shop floor manufacturing automation.