Manufacturer of automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components and systems, and lead production facility for DENSO’s Thermal Systems North American Center (TAC)
Meet Denise: DENSO’s First Executive Lead of Diversity & Inclusion
Shane O’Neil – Completed March 2019
Throughout the program he enjoyed rotating through the different groups which allowed him to meet and work with all the journeymen, and learn multiple repair techniques. Shane is thankful for Paul Phillips who helped him launch a new mod machine C-1211 during the program.
Outside of DENSO Shane enjoys fishing and riding dirt bikes with his two children, and looks forward to taking his family on camping trips.
Richard Saylor – Completed February 2019
Richard appreciates the numerous people in each department that helped him learn important skills so he can succeed in his job. His favorite part was being rotated through the different areas allowing him to gain a variety of experience.
Something not everyone knows about Richard is that he started working on cars when he was only 13 years old!
DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. associates have donated 2,726 pounds of food and 118 hours to the Food Bank of South Central Michigan over the past twelve months. Recently, 18 associates spent the afternoon assembling weekend school packs for kids as a part of DENSO’s work-time volunteer program.
In this program, each associate can volunteer eight hours of paid time each year through company-sponsored events. From sorting donations and stuffing envelopes to assembling food bags, DENSO associates are empowered to give back to the community.
Thank you to our work-time volunteers!
Over 100 middle school girls participated in the Society of Women Engineers Corporate Engineering Challenge at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo on Saturday, February 16, and DENSO was there to support them.
DENSO was an event sponsor and several engineers and members of the DENSO Women’s Network were on hand to help. Volunteers shared the fun of math and science career options at DENSO by showing off Travbot, a cobot our engineers programmed to play Tic Tac Toe.
In addition to corporate sponsor activity like Travbot, participants also took on an engineering challenge in the afternoon. Teams competed in the “Moon Landing and Exploration” engineering challenge. Team DENSO mentors Sara Rodriguez and Sidd Arora, both Total Industrial Engineering engineers, guided their team to create a device that simulated landing on the moon followed by exploring the moon’s surface.
“It was fun to watch the girls get excited about the technology,” said Rachel Thole, Advanced Condenser Process Engineer, who coordinated the event. “I enjoyed networking with other companies and being out in the community.”
In 2018, 28 associates reached the 25-years of service milestone. Roughly 45 people gathered to celebrate these honorees at the Quarter Century Club Dinner on Thursday, January 24. Thank you for choosing to make your career at DENSO. Congratulations!
Every day at DENSO, someone is making a prototype for an automotive part. Now up in the North Office, the Internet of Things (IoT) Team is prototyping something drastically different—a modern office environment.
The IoT office space is filled with big blue couches, circular desks, bright bold colors and a whiteboard that spans the entire office. This prototype is based on one central concept—collaboration.
“We want to create an environment that encourages discussion and openness,” said Teresa Hansen, IoT Section Leader. “This helps encourage learning between senior staff and new staff.
Most DENSO office areas are a sea of grey or beige, so the IoT office stands out. But modern office environments are now commonly designed with color and collaboration in mind.
“I like the color scheme and all the little nooks where you can meet up,” IoT Programmer Nam Le said. “We couldn’t separate ourselves for focused time if we needed the seclusion before. Now the whole room is very flexible.”
As the war for talent gets more and more intense, job seekers are coming to expect modern, collaborative office environments. But even longtime associates like Advanced Software Developer Joe Delbridge love the IoT prototype office.
“It’s the first time in my 21 years that I have seen an office change this drastic… and it’s a great change.”
The door to the IoT office space is locked for security reasons, but Teresa said that this doesn’t mean associates aren’t welcome. In fact, anyone can stop by to take a look around, or bring their laptop along to try out one of the collaboration spaces.
“We want people to see this and want to be a part of it. We want this to show that we’re changing the game at DENSO.”
Contact Teresa or a member of the IoT team with questions or to set up a time.
Nearly 100 people teed off for this year’s DENSO Golf Outing at Binder Park Golf Course in Battle Creek on Sunday, July 29.
Congratulations to this year’s winners–Chuck Merwin, Matt Garland, Roger Froelich and Rich Tucker!
More than 500 Battle Creek associates visited the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Affiliate Rewards Road Tour on Monday, July 23.
Attendees test drove new Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles and enjoyed a free lunch courtesy of FCA while learning about associates’ eligibility for discounts on new cars.
Thanks for a fun time, FCA!
When the idea for a safety mural came up, Production 2B Associate Ashley Ellis came to mind. Her intricate butterfly design won the DMMI Making Strides Against Breast Cancer design contest. She was excited to help out and hand painted a beautiful “Safety Takes Us Home” message. Thanks for sharing your talents to help raise safety awareness, Ashley!
In support of the United Way Diaper Drive, we held our own diaper and feminine product collection at DENSO Manufacturing Michigan and designated our donation to Charitable Union.
Our team donated:
Thanks to everyone that donated!
Associates and their families had a blast during our annual bus trip to downtown Chicago. The weather lived up to Chicago’s reputation as the “Windy City,” but the sun stayed out to help associates enjoy shopping, dining and museums before being whisked home in comfort.
Thanks to the Social Activities Committee for planning this annual event!
How long have you been at DENSO?
What do you do?
As the Director of Product Design Engineering, I lead three teams including Manufacturing Product Design, Supplier Engineering, and Mold Design Engineering responsible for both HVAC and ECM Products. One of the unique aspects of this role is that these three groups support all TAC facilities and work closely with each other to support the development of TAC Products.
Manufacturing Product Design issues product designs from DNJP, supports ECI implementation, and is responsible for the development of Design For Manufacturing (DFM).
Supplier Engineering supports the development of new manufacturing processes at suppliers, localization of products, and the Design For Manufacturing.
Mold Design Engineering is responsible for the development and procurement of injection molds used to make our larger HVAC and ECM components. Injection molding is a process used to make plastic parts that many of us use every day, even things such as Lego’s. Injection molded parts in DMMI’s products include HVAC cases, radiator tanks, and cooling fans.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
We get to see vehicles in their infancy and then watch them grow up. From the very earliest stages of design, we see cars develop through concept, quotation, prototyping – all the way to the troubleshooting mass production issues and potentially warranty improvements.
Our PDE Team was reorganized in 2017 to focus on Design For Manufacturing which is also very interesting. In product design, kaizen—continuous improvement by many small changes—can be too late. We need foresight during the design and development process to implement changes before the product is manufactured. Our biggest challenge is in making the product easier to manufacture and doing it during the design phase. It’s a big change for DENSO that we’re working on across North America.
What important lesson(s) have you learned in your career at DENSO?
I think the biggest thing is reflecting on what they do and don’t teach you in school. I pursued a really good education—a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from University of Cincinnati, an MBA from Western Michigan University—but what they don’t teach you in school is that people are your most important asset. Company A and Company B can have same facilities, same technology, but it’s the people that make it happen. The company that focuses on people is the company that will succeed.
My management philosophy is servant leadership. I believe that I’m here to help the individuals on our team that are doing the work. I’m not here to manage them, I’m here to help lead them to be successful. If I do my job well, they won’t need me anymore.
What advice would you give to an associate who wants to advance their career—either through a management path or as an individual contributor?
Take ownership for your future. Every job in this company is important. You need to find the one that will provide you with the motivation to succeed. When you find the right job, success will follow. What drives you to succeed is what you enjoy. No one will hand that to you. You have to find it.
What is your fantasy job?
Tell us something that people may not know about you.
I’m actually at my best when my feet are not on the ground. My passion for the last 20 years has been flying, both hot air balloons and single engine aircraft. I’m also certified to inspect and repair Lighter-Than-Air aircraft.
The Battle Creek community gathered to celebrate Chin National Day together this winter with sponsorship support from DENSO. The Community Cultural Center in Springfield was bursting at the seams for the annual event attended by more than 400 Battle Creek area Burmese.
Chin National Day was established almost 70 years ago to commemorate the day the Burmese threw out their feudal system, adopted democracy, and separated themselves from Great Britain. The holiday is a chance to preserve and maintain the rich culture, tradition, language, and literature of the Chin ethnic group.
This year’s event featured traditional music, dancing, food, storytelling, and fashion. The DENSO Burmese Resource Group and DMMI Business Partnering Manager Paul Gallagher represented DMMI and were recognized for the company’s event sponsorship and community support.