Manufacturer of starters, alternators, instrument clusters, safety components, and various automotive electronic products and inverters for hybrid vehicles
Yoshino Cherry Trees Planted in Honor of CARE Award and 30th Anniversary
On February 17, the Body Electronics (BE) Division (203) held a ceremony to celebrate winning the FORD World Excellence Award for Phone as a Key (PaaK). More than 100 production and support associates social gathered to accept the award.
BE Director Mike Peevy began the celebration by thanking everyone involved for the success of the PaaK product. Ford invited 115 of their top suppliers to the ceremony and DENSO came out on top winning two of the twelve awards delivered. DMTN PaaK award was for the Connected Service pillar and (DMMI) Thermal groups was in the EV Technologies pillar. DENSO was also one of seven suppliers recognized for their contributions during the COVID pandemic for our support on Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR’s).
DMTN President Sean Nakamizo talked about the strict quality requirements from FORD. “Because of your strong effort to respond with quality and speed we were able to succeed. We have many opportunities to be the CASE hub in North America. Let’s be a pioneer of technology and challenge ourselves to create new business.”
Senior Vice President Chuntao Ye wrapped up the celebration by sharing how the PaaK product was essential in winning the trust of our customer. “We have the best solutions for quality and speed and are a model for CASE products. Thank you for doing your jobs precisely – this secures our future business.”
PaaK Team Leader Josh Hilbert and Engineer Brian Koozer accepted the award on behalf of the team and everyone signed a banner commemorating the award. “We have worked closely with production engineering to ensure PaaK would function the best it could and that’s been our key to success,” said Hilbert. “What all of us worked hard for has finally paid off for DENSO. Great job!”
Looking back at 30 years in business, there are photos, drawings and other files in many places across DMTN’s campus that document our progress. But what’s a photo without the story behind it? Cue our 30 year associates – they can take us down memory lane and tell us firsthand about their experiences at DENSO over the three decades.
Ed Huskey currently works in 202 Quality Assurance, but he started in 201 back in 1990 and has worked in other buildings in between. “I’ve seen this  become a plant, I’ve watched plants merge, and I’ve seen 101 grow from one building to having all the additions it has now.”
Moving around within DENSO has kept Huskey’s career stimulating for him. In fact, his advice to new associates is to avoid getting stuck in one job. “30 years, in one job and you start to get complacent. Move around and learn new things, it keeps it exciting. See all that DENSO has to offer.”
Avoiding complacency also keeps quality at a high level, which Huskey calls the “cornerstone of DENSO.” “Everybody depends on the quality that we provide,” said Huskey.
See what else Ed Huskey had to say in his video interview here. Stay tuned for more stories from members of our 30 year club!
Some would agree there have not been many benefits to come out of the COVID pandemic. If there is a shining star, the crisis has increased our speed and ability to communicate across campus, the nation and even the world. DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee (DMTN) demonstrated that overwhelmingly last week.
On Wednesday, August 19 (Thursday, August 20 in Japan), DMTN became the first DENSO company location to “virtually” host Global President and CEO Koji “Jack” Arima. And it couldn’t have gone better.
“It was very exciting to see our CEO and his reaction to all the hard work our associates have accomplished in preparation for his visit,” said DMTN President Sean Nakamizo. “Our location is poised for tremendous growth over the next several years and President Arima was excited to see the passion and confidence of our associates.”
Twelve specific GENBA stops across campus joined the tour via Zoom and shared challenge improvements, action plans and associate voices, all structured around five core pillars: Safety, Quality, Fixed Cost Reduction, Plant Reform and our actions to prevent COVID.
“This tour demonstrated our commitment to a ONE DMTN mindset,” said Senior Vice President Chuntao Ye. “We cannot survive working as individual units. We have to work more closely together to remove obstacles and borders that can hinder our growth.”
During the first pillar, Arima saw how technology is helping create a safer work environment for associates in CWH and 102. The second pillar highlighted how DMTN is breaking down barriers to reach ZERO customer returns and A-rank defects. President Arima learned how Digital Asaichi has strengthened collaboration during the third pillar GENBA and at the fourth pillar, four key business that are transforming our future were showcased: Global B, EHV, SMD and GSP2. Finally, Arima saw how associates are utilizing the five CORE safety actions to reduce COVID risk.
“Thank you for your videos and plant tours today,” said President Arima during his wrap up comments. “It has been two years since my last visit and was very nice to see a lot of passion and confidence.”
Arima emphasized the importance of continued improvements. “Today’s activity was good, but it is now essential to stop, think, review and act through Reborn-21 to make significant changes to survive and grow for the future.”
During a special moment at the closing, President Arima officially presented DMTN with the DENSO President’s Award for CARE – the first for our location. Bob Booker, Corporate Functions, Patrice Brooks, Electrification Systems, and Taylor Ellison, Information Safety, were on-hand to accept the award. DMTN was recognized for maximizing its national and state voice thru strong government relationships and developing a future workforce through training, school and work based programs. The DENSO Face Shield project was also part of the application.
“We applaud the efforts of every associate in DMTN,” said NA President and CEO Kenichiro Ito during the ceremony. “DMTN has a strong commitment to government and society and continues to be a strong ambassador for DENSO.”
“I cannot thank our associates enough,” continued Nakamizo. “This was a great opportunity to showcase DMTN to our global president and prove how COVID has not hindered the DENSO spirit. Congratulations to everyone!”
A complete photo gallery of the visit can be found on the DMTN Connection (accessible on DMTN campus).
DENSO Maryville Families – do you have a high school grad in your immediate family? Let’s recognize them!
Last week, DMTN hosted our largest tour group to date – 168 students from Hardin Valley Academy. The students visited the Information Safety Division where they enjoyed some friendly competition with DENSO trivia, a question and answer session on career opportunities and a brief tour.
Thank you to all of our associates who helped us host such a large group!
Last Friday, DMTN hosted the grand opening of the Central Technical Training Center located at Building 105. As snow fell across campus, community members and DENSO executives arrived to dedicate the new facility and demonstrate what it means for DENSO’s future.
DENSO North America CEO Kenichiro Ito was the first to speak at the podium, sharing his vision for the training center. “We believe human cultivation is key…collaboration between craftsmen and engineers is extremely important for success.”
Other speakers included TN Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell. Although the weather prevented former United States Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty from attending, he delivered a speech to the audience via live phone message.
“DENSO is a flagship corporate citizen here in Tennessee, critical to the fabric of our state economy and our culture,” said Hagerty. Consul-General of Japan Kayako Fukushima was also in attendance.
After Hagerty’s message, United Way of Blount County CEO Jennifer Wackerhagen presented DENSO with the Community Impact Award as a result of DENSO’s philanthropic contributions to the community.
The ceremony ended with an official ribbon cutting led by Mr. Ito. Both community members and DENSO associates then toured the training center for an up close look at opportunities the facility provides.
Check out the video recap: