Denyo Manufacturing makes engine-driven generators ranging in capacity from 15,000 to 300,000 watts for use by rental, construction, telecommunications, and special event industries as well as for military and government agencies in the North American market. David Soyka reports on how this Japanese subsidiary’s commitment to sustainability generates improved results for both the business and the planet.
Denyo Manufacturing Corporation is a small company that not only makes powerful products, but is the largest manufacturer of its kind in North America. While a venture of the Japanese Denyo Group, this Kentucky manufacturer is a true American success story.
“What’s really remarkable about Denyo Manufacturing is that we started this business from scratch,” notes Joey Harris, plant manager and director. “Back in 1995, we literally moved into an empty building here in Danville. We’ve since expanded twice and hope to eventually expand into new markets.”
Currently, Denyo makes diesel engine generators, ranging in size from 10,000 to 300,000 watts in capacity. “These aren’t merely simple generators,” Harris points out. “They are rugged industrial models intended to power a variety of applications in the field on a 24/7 basis. The rental, construction, telecommunications and special event industries use our generators to provide power at outdoor and temporary locations. Similarly, government and military customers need generators where there isn’t any local electric available, such as in Afghanistan.
Denyo generators are characterized by flawless reliability and extremely quiet operation. “If you’re at an outdoor after-hours event of some kind in some location set up just for that occasion, chances are it’s one of our generators providing the power. This is the kind of situation where the generator absolutely has to be very quiet, you want people to enjoy themselves, not struggling to hear themselves over machinery. At the same time, particularly in urban environments, you don’t want neighbors complaining about excessive noise. One of our chief competitive differentiators is the exceptionally quiet operation of our generators.”
Another distinguishing feature is that Denyo generators look really good, with a high quality paint that is the result of a $7 million investment in the latest electrostatic coating, rust-proofing and powder painting technologies. Almost as important as the long-wearing quality appearance of their products is how the new systems reduce its manufacturing carbon footprint.
Most of the chemicals and equipment in the cleaning and treatment process operate at ambient temperature, consequently reducing energy consumption. The coatings are water-based and do not require any organic solvents, thus reducing flammable and hazardous wastes. In addition, the new painting process nearly eliminates regulated air emissions and significantly reduces the amount of water discharges into the city sewer system.
Catch the Sustainable Fever
In fact, Denyo is committed to sustainable practices in all its manufacturing operations, a program it calls “Catching the Environmental Fever.” It has been so successful it recently won the 2013 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) designation awarded by the National Prevention Roundtable (NPPR). Denyo recognition was based on these outstanding environmental accomplishments in reducing:
- hazardous waste generation by 72 percent;
- inert landfill waste by 64 percent;
- air emissions by 63 percent;
- total water usage by 21 percent.
Over the past three years, Denyo has recycled 1,984,720 pounds combined wood, plastics, metals, oils, and cardboard. “We’ve gone from having our trash picked up once a week to only once a month,” Harris notes, adding, “The only reason we even do it once a month is that we want to be a good neighbor. It gets hot here and you leave trash lying around for much longer and it starts to smell.”
Harris notes that improved sustainability is the classic win/win proposition. “Just one example is the reduction of our waste water. Because we are consuming less water, we’re discharging less water back into the sewage system. That’s good for the environment, of course, but the business benefit is that we’re paying less for our sewage bill.”
The generators themselves are environmentally friendly. “We recently converted all our units to diesel engines that comply, with EPA Tier 4 emission regulations,” Harris notes. “We’re happy to produce a product that has virtually no pollutants, but it was a huge engineering and design challenge for us. Basically, we introduced an entire new line of products.”
In the final analysis, he adds, “It’s good for the planet, it’s good for our community, it’s good for business.”
And Denyo is doing good business. “We serve a diversified marketplace, so when one of our customer segments is in a down cycle, other segments are in an up cycle. Also, our generators are also used in unfortunate circumstances, such as disasters and military actions such as in Afghanistan. Of course, we’re not hoping for unfortunate events, but they do, happen, and we’re proud to provide a product that can help alleviate their severity when they do.”
He adds that, “I don’t think we’re near realizing our potential in North America. Our parent company makes models of generators we have yet to market here. And that’s not to mention other industrial machinery the Denyo Group manufactures. We are looking forward to further expansion both in our product line and the markets we serve.