Manufacturer of starters, alternators, instrument clusters, safety components, and various automotive electronic products and inverters for hybrid vehicles
Opening Doors to the Future
DMTN hosted more than 20 tnAchieves students at Electronic Products 202 last week. The group learned about DENSO, toured our facility and met representatives from engineering, maintenance, production and logistics. Here’s hoping they come back to DENSO when they enter the workforce!
tnAchieves is a partner organization to the Tennessee Promise Scholarship and aims to increase higher education opportunities for Tennessee high school students with mentor guidance. To learn more about becoming a mentor, visit tnachieves.org.
Associate safety is a top priority for DMTN. As part of the Body Electronics expansion in Building 204, pedestrian safe walkways were built into the design.
Over the past couple of weeks, new green walkways began being striped in Building 203 and 204.
“With the new safety routes, associates will see a clear path to walk and can stay clear of mobile equipment,” said Senior Specialist Erik Ramsey, Safety, Health and Environment.
New technology – such as automated guided vehicles – will make staying on segregated walkways even more important for the future.
“Technology is growing rapidly and we must stay safe,” said Senior Vice President Chuntao Ye. “No matter where you are on campus, safe walkways will look the same to reduce confusion and reinforce safe working habits, which are critical.”
The next step will connect Building 203 and 204 walkways with Logistics and Building 302.
This time last year, Natalie Muneses was graduating from the University of Delaware with a biomedical engineering degree. Her next stop would be Tennessee, where she began her first rotation in the DENSO IGNITE program.
The IGNITE program has been in DENSO’s North America region for the past four years, aiming to get new associates familiar with various locations and departments within DENSO. Once hired into IGNITE, roughly eight associates per year complete two nine-month rotations at a NA location, one three-month rotation at DNJP, then return to another NA site for a final three-month rotation.
Natalie Muneses is the first IGNITE associate to work in the Safety, Health and Environment department. “This rotational program allows me to hone in on current gaps and best practices that each of our facilities has to offer, which will help us come together as one regional NA SHE team” she said. The majority of her focus has been on industrial hygiene and noise reduction.
SHE leader Shawn Bryant emphasized the advantage of having Muneses in Tennessee. With DMTN and DMAT being close in location, she was able to work at both sites during her first rotation. “Natalie worked with operations at DMAT and developed some solutions, then took those solutions to DMTN and vice-versa. That really shows the value in this rotational program,” said Bryant.
Muneses’ rotation in Tennessee ended last week and she was sent off with a potluck farewell party from the DMTN SHE team. Her next stop is to DMMI in Battle Creek, Michigan for nine months, then the entire IGNITE group will go to DNJP in April 2020.
If you know a college graduate who would be interested in gaining experience while working across multiple places within DENSO, encourage them to apply! More information can be found at https://densocareers.com/creative/campus-ignite.
DMTN’s latest team of apprentices has wrapped up their two year training period. Their final step in the Technical Skills Trades Program (TSTP) Apprenticeship is a year of on-the-job training – but before they can do that, they had to complete a successful Special Team Project.
Three weeks ago, the team was given a frame and electrical cabinet from an old machine. Their task? Build a working baseball game pinball machine that weighs less than 1,500 pounds and can fit through a double door – all for under $1,000.
The team got to work right away. “We started every morning by writing our goals for the day on a board,” said apprentice Brent Stafford. “Our biggest challenge was the scoreboard. That took all of us working together to figure it out.”
Collaboration was essential, according to Technical Training Advanced Specialist Jody Freeman. “Not only do we want them to know how to work on our machines safely, but they need to be able to work together as a team,” said Freeman.
The team was able to present their pinball machine – complete with working scoreboard – to leaders last week. All under budget at $465. During the presentation, apprentice Shaun Joyce emphasized how this project helped him. “This really helped me learn more advanced functions and get hands on experience with device-net,” said Joyce.
It’s safe to say everyone is happy with the end result. “You keep hearing about the Special Team Project, like it’s your right of passage. We wanted ours to be memorable and we’re proud of it,“ said Stafford.
The five apprentices will now head to the floor for a year of on-the-job training. The next groups of TSTP apprentices will complete their Special Team Projects in April and May.
In a special visit to Tennessee, Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the United States, made a stop at DMTN to learn about the business, tour various areas across campus and see how the automotive market is shifting to become safer, more connected and autonomous.
During his visit, Ambassador Sugiyama visited the Electric Hybrid Vehicle (EHV) department to see how electrification is changing the way vehicles are powered. He then toured the Consolidated Warehouse (CWH), took a moment to autograph one of the first parts at Global Safety Package and saw how Body Electronics are improving efficiencies in the automotive market.
During a wrap up meeting with DMTN leaders, Ambassador Sugiyama was “extremely happy with the visit and excited to learn more about DENSO and Tennessee.”
Ambassador Sugiyama was impressed with the speed of development at DENSO and the global collaboration between the two countries.
“From now on, I’m going to tell everyone how Japan and the United States are doing some really fantastic things at DENSO.”
In 2012, DMTN Plant 202 launched the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) product line. Although two product types had run on separate lines in Japan, DMTN was challenged to produce both on one line – and a challenge it was.
The line began running three shifts with 15 people each. Leaders and support members brought that total to about 50 people just for EPS. It was one of the largest non-automated lines in the plant and was required to produce nearly 4,500 parts per week.
“Things started out really difficult,” said production associate Kevin Adkins. “We came from a more relaxed line, and this one was really intense.”
Manager Jamie Payne describes those first years of production as “extremely challenging…but the associates stepped up, the support groups drove through the PDCA process to eliminate problems, and together we created an overall culture change.”
Fast forward to 2019. After years of hard work, the EPS line started phasing out and the first shift team just produced the final part on February 7. The entire EPS group also celebrated a total of zero customer returns in 2018.
Associates recognizing and reporting problems was a key aspect to their success. “As leaders, we rely on line associates to report when something’s not working right,” said Whitney Neal, EPS Group Leader. Now that the line has phased out and associates will be joining other areas, they are encouraged to spread that critical mindset and culture change across campus.
“I can’t thank these associates enough. A lot of different groups spent a lot of time working hard to make EPS successful,” said Section Leader Xavier Isabell, one of the many leaders who are proud of what the EPS group has accomplished.
What started out as “the worst” is now a success story for Plant 202 and DMTN – not to mention living proof of what teamwork and dedication can accomplish.
More than 400 DENSO associates converged in Detroit, Michigan last week for the first-ever New Year Ceremony hosted from North America. During the event, Global President Koji Arima talked about DENSO’s second founding, the largest shift in business strategy in the company’s 70-year history, his vision for DENSO, and expectations for associates.
“DENSO is facing a once in a century paradigm shift in the automotive industry,” said Arima. “This is DENSO’s opportunity to use diverse opinions and talents to craft the future.”
The shift refers to automobiles becoming safer, connected and autonomous.
Arima asked all associates to Think Things Through, Get Things Done and Come Together to drive DENSO to that future. The market shift will open many opportunities for the company and each and every associate has a role to play.
Associates across the globe were invited to hear the message in person, including 30 from DMTN. The group, some having never met, got to know one another, toured Detroit attractions and will share President Arima’s message at Tennessee. In addition, the presentation was heard live locally at various areas around campus.
Full video of President Arima’s speech below. (approximate time: 30 minutes)
“President Arima’s message was very clear. Every associate has worked hard to get where we are and must continue their dedication to propel DENSO into the future.” – Kate Watts, 101
“Associates around the world contribute to the automotive industry. We must keep the DENSO spirit alive in our everyday work to achieve success.” – Yabsira Korra, 202
To view the full photo gallery, copy and paste this link into your browser (must be accessed from a DMTN computer): file://101-gsdepts/prc-share/Photo_Galleries/2019_DENSO_New_Year/index.html
Congratulations to Alecia Beeler-Millsaps for earning the 2017 President’s Award. Beeler-Millsaps, a senior office associate for Building 101 Facilities, was presented the award for continually exceeding expectations in her role.
Beeler-Millsaps oversees the housekeeping contract for DMTN, coordinates facilities work campus wide and demonstrates pride and integrity for any request.
According to Steve Seagle, Facilities Manager, Beeler-Millsaps “regardless of any task, accepts responsibility with a positive attitude and produces high quality results.”
“I appreciate the recognition and want to thank everyone for their support,” said Beeler during the award celebration. “I’m just one of a great team and we couldn’t make DMTN a great place to work if it wasn’t for everyone’s dedication.”
Criteria for the President’s Award include self-confidence, integrity, initiative, dependability and more. The award was established in 2012 and each recipient is recognized with a plaque on the President’s Wall of Fame and preferred parking space for a year.
For the fourth year in a row, DENSO will have a team in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon! We are providing free registration for associates and one guest to participate in the 5K, 4 person relay, half or full marathon races.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: How do I register?
A: Log onto www.RunSignUp.com/CorporateTeams/DENSO and click ‘Join’. Then fill out the remaining information and make sure to click ‘Submit’ on the last page.
Q: Can I be my own guest?
A: No, Associates and their guest may only register once through DENSO.
Q: Do me and my guest have to participate in the same event?
A: No, you and your guest can participate in whichever event you choose.
Q: What if I register but find out later that I can’t make it?
A: No problem! Just let AR know before March 20, 2019 that you cannot make it and your registration will be removed.
*Please note: If you do not notify AR by the above date, you will be responsible for reimbursing DENSO for your registration and your guest’s registration (if applicable).
Q: What date do I need to sign up by to get a Team DENSO shirt?
A: The shirt order will be placed on March 1, 2019 so please have all registrations submitted before then. Additional shirts will not be ordered.
*Please note: You and your guest registration will automatically be pulled from the website. If you have other people that are joining, besides your one guest, please provide their registration to AR by February 28.
Contact: Paige Himes (x2031).
A team of DENSO associates gathered at DMTN last month to participate in the North American Facilities Conference.
Representatives from locations in Michigan, Arkansas, Japan, Canada and Mexico joined Tennessee associates to establish relationships and participate in joint diagnosis with the facilities department.
“There is a lot of knowledge in this room,” said Eric Fields, DMTN Facilities Manager. “This provides a tremendous opportunity to share knowledge and collaborate on good practices to sustain our facilities and processes.”
During the conference, the group broke into teams to perform a joint facility management diagnosis. Areas assessed included the PM system, contractor safety and danger prediction.
At DENSO, we’re committed to our communities. That’s why DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee partnered with the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) to bring new water bottle stations to three Blount County schools. Now, students at Friendsville, Rockford and Porter elementary schools can easily fill their water bottles in between classes with filtered and chilled water, thanks to TCWN’s Bringing Tap Back program.
Nearly 38 percent of 10—17-year-olds in Tennessee are overweight or obese. In-school water stations increase students’ access to clean drinking water, encouraging them to pick up their water bottle rather than a can of soda, and helping reduce obesity and diabetes. Creating opportunities like this, in the communities where we operate, is all part of DENSO’s mission to create a bright future for generations to come.
Read more about the program in The Daily Times here.