Manufacturer of starters, alternators, instrument clusters, safety components, and various automotive electronic products and inverters for hybrid vehicles
DENSO Associates Volunteer for Our Community
22 Kaizen teams from across North America gathered in Sevierville, Tennessee the first week of September for the annual North America Quality Circle Competition. DMTN was well represented by three teams: HUDtel California (201), Bottleneck Bandits (202) and Star Riders (101). Team HUDtel California won first place and will advance to the global competition in Japan this November. The Bottleneck Bandits also brought home the Productivity Award. Congratulations to all of the North America participants, and thanks to our local teams for making us proud as usual!
Check out this recap video to see what NAQCC is all about:
Team Bottleneck Bandits (202): Amy Spicer, Alice Sanders, Michael Bailey, Ricardo Zipata, Renee Butler, Brian Brantley, Jennifer Conley
Team HUDtel California (201: Blair Moser, Josh Freeman, Dan Mitchell, Tracy Stamper, Cody Henry, Alvaro Garcia, Nina Sands, John Longshore, Tina Bowling
Team Star Riders (101): Travis McCosh, Darrell Bolinger, Kenny Christopher, Tom Chiles, Donnie Carney, Mike Fagg, Jeff Hensley, Mike White
Internships are an ideal way for students to explore careers they are interested in. Externships allow educators to learn more about specific industries and how their students might have successful careers at local companies.
Last week, DMTN hosted close to 20 area educators to provide a behind-the-scenes look at our company and the bright careers their future graduates could succeed in. While onsite, the educators toured Electrification Systems, Electronic Systems and the Learning and Development Center. They were also introduced to Japanese culture, kaizen and problem solving.
“We wanted to showcase the array of opportunities at DENSO” said Karen Armstrong, Career Counselor. “Teachers can take back to students what they’ve learned and share the advances in technology they’ve seen that make manufacturing an exciting and cutting edge opportunity for their future careers.”
The hope is for teachers to encourage their students to pursue a career at DENSO in the skilled trades and/or advanced manufacturing fields. We continually recruits associates that can problem solve, communicate and contribute innovative ideas.
As we drive toward the future of mobility, externships for educators offer an avenue to dispel myths about manufacturing and reach the next generation.
We loved seeing all of you with your families at Family Day! Fortunately, the weather cooperated enough for us to have a wonderful evening full of baseball, food, fun and fireworks! We had over 4,200 people attend.
A photo gallery is available on the DMTN Connection, which is accessible from any DMTN computer. If you would like to request high-res versions of any of the photos, e-mail email@example.com
It’s always great to see associates taking advantage of DMTN’s tuition reimbursement program to further their education and grow within DENSO. Last week, a celebration was held to recognize four associates who are graduating with new degrees, as well as five associates who have completed the Tool & Die Apprenticeship program.
Tuition Reimbursement Grads:
Tool & Die Apprenticeship Grads:
Apprentice Team Competition
Recently, three apprenticeship teams completed their STS projects before going out on the floor for their final year in the program. They brought all three baseball pinball machines together for a contest, where the March presentation team took first place.
101 associates know all too well the effects of temperature shifts, especially during the summer. This past year that changed, as Facilities Engineering installed a global DENSO first, a Chiller Plant with Ice Supplement (Ice Plant).
Since 25-year old air handling equipment was in need of replacement, an opportunity to lower energy costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions presented itself. An Ice Plant does just that by taking advantage of peak demand times. The plant utilizes 17 ice tanks that fill at night when the chillers lower their set point to make ice in the tanks, occurring at night when it is cooler. Then, during high temperature times of the day, the chilled water is circulated into the ice tanks cooling it instead of using a chiller. The chilled water is then circulated into Building 101 to the air handlers delivering cool air and keeping a consistent temperature of 78 degrees.
“This is a win-win for DMTN, associates and the environment,” said Ryan Miles, Facilities Engineering . “The work environment is safer and more comfortable for associates.”
The new Ice Plant has been benchmarked across DENSO North America, from other companies, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. It saves $500,000 annually in energy costs and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 18,000 tons a year. Additionally, it eliminated ozone depleting cooling chemicals used in traditional systems and 66 percent of the fans on the production floor have been removed.
With the heat going up, a unique approach to chilling the air has provided a better work climate for associates and the environment.
The Smoky Mountain Regional FIRST Robotics competition is developing the next generation of manufacturers – right here in our own backyard. The competition encourages teamwork, problem solving, design and more to prepare the future workforce.
Last week the 2019 Smoky Mountain Regional FIRST Robotics competition hosted more than 50 teams from around the world. The competition pits future engineers, manufacturers, programmers and others against each other to develop a winning robot.
But it’s not just about building robots, explains Body Electronic’s Jim McDaniel, mentor for the South Doyle High School SoKno Robo team. “We are teaching these students project management, engineering, design and more. This will be our future workforce and as part of DENSO I can help make a difference and mentor these young manufacturers.”
DENSO is a large sponsor of FIRST Robotics, helping provide funds and mentors for seven teams at this year’s competition. Volunteers and mentors are needed throughout the year.
“This country has given me the opportunity to work here and I want to give back and help as many future engineers as I can,” said Electrification System’s Hiroaki Masuo, mentor for the Pioneers2 team from Republic High School in Nashville. If you are interested mentoring a FIRST Robotics team, Masuo can help. Call 2924 to get involved.
When taking a vacation flight out of Knoxville, you most likely connect to a hub – such as Atlanta or Detroit. In the shipping industry, especially at DENSO, those hubs are known as cross docks.
The DENSO North America Integrated Logistics (NAIL) team has been working diligently to develop a streamlined approach for shipping parts to and from DENSO locations.
“NAIL ships more than 30,000 pallets per week to 30 DENSO locations across the continent,” said Joe Morgan, NAIL Section Leader. “When you consider the number of trucks, the miles they drive and quick turnaround our company requires, we need to continually improve the process.”
One solution has been to add cross docks to five locations in the United States and one in Mexico (soon to be two). One of the cross docks is right here in Maryville, Tennessee.
From suppliers, parts are shipped to a cross dock near their final destination. From there, parts are grouped by final destination and consolidated onto truck(s) for delivery. The Maryville cross dock delivers nearly 2,000 pallets to DMTN each week, all consolidated and on time.
By implementing cross docks, parts and products flow efficiently in and out to their final destinations. With more than 600 shipping suppliers utilizing the network, without cross docks, costs would be off the map and logistics would be unmanageable.
“We’re seeing a costs savings to DENSO of more than $5 million annually with the cross dock formula,” said Morgan. “And plans are in place for technology upgrades to increase the savings even more”.
NAIL CROSS DOCK LOCATIONS:
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.”
Last week, the Electrification Systems (ES) Division safety audit process was benchmarked by Thermal Systems North American Center (TAC). TAC Regional Safety, Health and Environment Director Michelle Brady was introduced to the safety program developed by ES, learned more about the daily safety audits and had an opportunity to participate in audits at Parts Heat Treat and Parts Molding.
“DMTN clearly has a passion for keeping associates safe and preventing injuries,” said Brady. “The ES safety audits are a DENSO best practice and we will definitely take back what we saw and incorporate into our facilities.”
Since inception in 2014, more than 2,600 safety audits – including 34 production and 14 support departments – have been conducted. The program has been further enhanced to include participation by ES Division Safety Committees on second and third shift, providing associates an opportunity to participate in the process.
Body Electronics is making the move to double their fun, as the transition from single lane lines to dual lane lines has begun. In sub assembly, this means creating parts nearly one and a half times faster, improving efficiency and reliability and a cleaner work environment.
“After working eight years on a single lane, these are much more efficient,” said production associate Joey Atchley. “We produce better quality, satisfy our customers and work more efficiently.”
Maintenance time is less and there is greater flexibility for product changes. The new dual lane lines will become common place as older lanes are replaced and new products continue to expand DMTN for the future.
The weather didn’t exactly cooperate this year, but a group of our DENSO Veterans made us proud as they marched (in the rain) at the Knoxville Veterans Day parade!
To all of our DENSO Veterans – Thank you for your service to our country! We are honored that you choose DENSO for your career.
To all of our Veterans Supporters – Thank you for buying this year’s t-shirt and showing your appreciation. Your purchase is helping many local veterans through the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs organization.
Producing a safe and high quality product at DMTN happens day in and day out. Getting a chance to see the product in action however, is an opportunity not to miss.
Last week, associates drove a Lexus RX equipped with DENSO’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). The active driving system can take over a vehicle and assist in avoiding traffic accidents, should a driver be distracted. Associates drove the vehicle at 15 mph toward a target and within seconds, ADAS stopped the car and protected the passengers.
“You get to see the fruits of your labor,” said associate Cindy Merriman. “We’re part of the safety and quality of this product and this is going to affect everyone’s lives.”
The event showcased the impact of quality for associates and showed first-hand how producing a quality product plays a critical role in the future of mobility.
“This really brings to light what our products do and how we contribute to a safer roadway,” said Logan Cook. To read how DENSO is helping create an accident free society, check out press release below along with more photos and a video recap.
A team of Innovation of Tomorrow (IoT) DENSO Associates has developed and implemented a new pLMS database for plant 203.
The pLMS system monitors the production data stream in plant 203, providing quality and traceability on final assembly lines. Replacing the original database with an upgraded, dedicated version addresses performance issues due to high transaction volumes, as well as volumes of data stored. Additionally, an isolated server shields plant 203 from pLMS database shut downs which could impact the entire DMTN campus and provides easier access for maintenance.
The team plans to move data for all other production centers to their own database(s) in the coming months. In advance of the lines going in, building 204 has its own new database and is already on a separate server and prepared for production startup.
Pictured: Members of the IoT team instrumental in redesigning the pLMS database. (L to R): Lance Charles, Chad Fillbach and Scott Rodgers.
This past Saturday, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital held their 2nd annual Butterfly Dash & Burger Bash fundraiser at the World’s Fair Park in Knoxville. This was DMTN’s first year to participate by entering 21 associates into the Dash (run/walk) & 1 team in the Burger Bash (cooking competition). I’m excited to announce that in their first year competing, the DENSO “Crafting the COW” team won 1st place for “People’s Choice” & 2nd place for Team Spirit. Please congratulate the team members listed below on a job well done! They all worked really hard in high temperatures to cook 800 Hawaiian flavored sliders for attendees & came home champions!
Team Members Are:
Team Captain – Debbie Jackson & Richard Jackson
Dale Peabody & Rhonda Peabody
Mike Dunn & Kas Dunn
Ashley Guthrie & Jet Guthrie