Denham-Blythe incorporates safety into every aspect of its business model, from concept to completion. Safety is a core value within company that is led by executive example, bleeding into every fiber of company culture. We believe that every person assigned to a project has equal rights to a hazard-free workplace with the ability to stop unsafe acts. Understandably, it can be challenging to establish a true company culture. Over the past ten years, Denham-Blythe has worked incessantly toward achieving our current status.
Presently, Denham-Blythe has over 1.5 million manhours without a lost time injury and has not had a recordable incident in 14 months. We have learned that by maintaining focus on leading indicators and continual improvement, the lagging indicators—such as metrics, will follow in positive trends. Every individual on our team has a professional obligation to earnestly pursue the values of our company with safety being one. One of the biggest challenges we had to overcome was the redefining the perception of safety being a competing entity for efficiency and quality. Once we understood how to ensure that safety, efficiency, and quality complement each other, it changed our team’s outlook and had a very positive effect on company culture. At Denham-Blythe, value steers the direction of the company and safety is invaluable to us.
Our EHS team is comprised of seven safety professionals, all with extensive knowledge in the safety field. To help effectively manage our safety program at a project level, Denham-Blythe safety professionals are responsible for completing frequent job site inspections, taking part in the job hazard analysis process, investigating and managing incidents, among a myriad of other responsibilities. At the corporate level, safety professionals are responsible for overseeing the company’s safety program in addition to working closely with project managers and subcontractors to prepare site-specific documentation. Safety has a presence in every facet of operational business at Denham-Blythe.
A continual improvement plan forces companies to ask the tough questions: “Where we are effective? Where are we failing? and How can we be better?” Our passion for continued improvement has pushed us to explore ways to evaluate our safety management system at a company level using a safety committee in conjunction with a continuous improvement model (developed by the National Safety Council). Our safety committee consists of a cross-section of company team members, executives, safety professionals, and field staff who meet monthly to evaluate improvement. The continual improvement model by the NSC guides the meetings in a way that by the end of the year, we will have evaluated every aspect of our safety management system. We value our safety committee having two-way communication utilizing the different perspectives represented based on their individual roles and responsibilities. The safety committee is a very important piece to continual improvement in our company.
AGC and Denham-Blythe
AGC has been a vital resource for Denham-Blythe, providing essential guidance for some of the difficult safety challenges in the construction industry, while also serving as a valuable networking resource for like-minded companies who face similar challenges. AGC has helped us raise the standards of Denham-Blythe’s safety program through our partnership with the AGC PROTECT program. The PROTECT program has provided Denham-Blythe with several training opportunities in addition to an unbiased viewpoint on our local projects through PROTECT site inspections. Additionally, being an AGC member has given us the ability to participate in the planning and execution of the annual AGC Safety, Issues, and Education conference. The annual AGC of Kentucky conference is a great event that provides a day of extensive networking and education for employers across the state of Kentucky.
The Award Process
Participants complete an application form and submit it to AGC of America or through their local AGC Chapter. Members of the national AGC Safety & Health Committee review and judge the submissions at the annual Construction Safety & Health Conference. The finalists in each divisional category then compete at the AGC National Convention for either a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place award. Finalists must then give an oral presentation in front of a panel of five highly qualified judges who determine the first place winners.
Denham-Blythe Company led the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) team for the PureCycle Technologies Feedstock Evaluation Unit (FEU), a groundbreaking plastics recycling facility located in Ironton, Ohio.
PureCycle Technologies just announced it has successfully completed purified waste carpet from its FEU, transforming discarded carpet into clear, odorless, Ultra-Pure Recycled Polypropylene (UPRP) resin through its proprietary plastics recycling technology, developed and invented by Procter & Gamble.
“Working with a startup company attempting to bring novel recycling technology to market would be an intimidating project for most people,” said Michael Patterson, Executive Vice President of Denham-Blythe Company and FEU Project Executive. “However, our team, including EN Engineering, embraced our role from day one. We’re proud to be partners with PureCycle Technologies and to see the successful operation of the FEU, which marks a huge milestone for the future of plastics recycling.”
By bringing this game-changing technology to market, PureCycle Technologies has gained global attention, partnering with industry giants including Nestlé, L’Oréal, Aptar and Milliken & Company. With the successful scaling of this technology, PureCycle has plans for a second phase which is expected to come online in the summer of 2021.
“By working together with a focused approach, we can clean up the planet,” stated PureCycle Chief Operations Officer Tayt Rule. “We’ve had a great experience working with the Denham-Blythe and EN Engineering team for our Feedstock Evaluation Unit. Because of our track record of success together, we are even more excited to be working with this team for construction on our commercial plant.”
Within the next 30-60 days, the teams will begin work on a larger-scale, commercial-sized polypropylene resin purification facility on the same site, which will process 105,000,000 lbs. per year of recycled polypropylene.
About Denham-Blythe Company
Denham-Blythe Company is a design-build construction company with over 40 years of experience in the automotive, industrial, food/pharma, healthcare, institutional, and commercial sectors. Since 1976, Denham-Blythe has completed more than 10,000 projects across the U.S. and in Mexico for a diverse customer base that includes local startups and Fortune 500 companies.
By Karen Hawthorne
Not many companies can take on a construction project from start to finish. Denham-Blythe has been doing just that for more than 40 years across a wide range of industries. The secret? An excellent team of designers and builders under one roof.
Take a walk through the streets in any American city and you will see impressive buildings – from office towers to hospitals to factories. What you don’t see is the all the vision, time, planning and work that goes into the construction of these buildings.
Raising these structures takes hundreds of people. You’ve got architects, engineers, contractors, equipment operators and more, so often the biggest challenge becomes managing the people and their competing voices to keep the timelines moving and on budget.
That is the hard work that takes place even before one shovel goes in the ground. Then, when construction does start, different factors such as safety, logistics and other unexpected issues must be managed. Few companies are able to take their clients through all these steps of a construction project without having to subcontract work out.
Denham-Blythe is one company that can.
With its 40 years of design and build history, this company knows how to get it all done. The “Design-Build” delivery method is really about covering all the steps in a construction project from the point of sketching out what a building may look like to designing it, and ultimately building it from the ground up.
Denham-Blythe got its start from two engineers out of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where the company is headquartered, who saw the value of having all people working on a project sit down at the same table to prevent obstacles before they crop up. Now, Denham-Blythe has two additional offices in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenville, South Carolina, boasts 200 employees, and has handled more than 10,000 projects for clients across diverse industries, including manufacturing, automotive, food, pharma and healthcare. It also takes on different sizes of projects from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.
“We do work on buildings associated with everything from bananas to Post-It Notes,” says Michael Patterson, Executive Vice President of Construction and Business Development for Denham-Blythe.
“Our relationships are so well established because the customer has one person to talk to. It’s a single point of communication and responsibility,” Patterson says. “Having all the forces in house is actually very uncommon. You will see people and companies that offer ‘design-build’ but realistically, there are very few in the industry that have all of those design disciplines and construction capabilities employed full-time in their company.”
The company takes pride in being able to tackle the more complicated projects because of its diverse and specialized staff. About 85 percent of all the work the company does is turnkey with Denham-Blythe handling the entire end-to-end design and construction.
“We have a saying here that if it’s a difficult, challenging project then that’s a perfect Denham-Blythe job,” Patterson says. “We have the whole package for design and build elements, including architects, civil and structural engineers, mechanical, electrical – all of those disciplines along with the construction forces as well. So we enjoy those projects and it sets us apart from the competition.”
And some of the projects can be incredibly complex. For example, one of Denham-Blythe’s clients required a major processing line renovation in its factory. “That’s not anything abnormal for us in general; but we ended up working in the middle of a functioning facility. So we had to rebuild the line while not interrupting production on either side of it.” Oh and by the way, the factory was producing specialized glass, the kind that you see on an iPhone, so the margin of error during all this work was zero.
So, with two glass production lines working on either side, the Denham-Blythe team carved out the middle of the plant and made the new part of the building deeper by taking it down 20 feet into the rock to create the height needed for the production line. “Just logistically putting that in the bullseye or center of a functioning glass manufacturing facility was very interesting, very challenging. It involved some very major cranes and a lot of planning,” says Patterson.
To accomplish all this, the company had six teams work continuously, seven days a week for about six months. “It was very high-risk work but we didn’t have an accident either, so we are very proud of our safety record on that one.”
Other significant projects the company is currently working on include a 29,000-square-foot, three-floor expansion of cable manufacturer Okonite Company’s logistics building in Orangeburg, South Carolina. This involved expanding the dock area of the facility as well as creating 75,000 square feet of paved parking for trucks. Denham-Blythe was also chosen to design and build a 270,000-square-foot plant for DAE-IL Corporation, a powertrain and parts manufacturer for the automotive industry.
What is even more impressive is that during the work on all of these large-scale and complex projects, Denham-Blythe has more than 1 million safe man hours of work – that is the equivalent of about 35 months of work. The company has been recognized with Governor’s awards in both Kentucky and Tennessee for its work excellence as well as its safety record.
“Safety for us is a value and a cultural element,” Patterson says. “The numbers are more than just numbers; it’s really what we value and we take it very seriously. We start each meeting with a safety topic, and all of our projects have a job hazard analysis.”
These high safety standards qualify the company to bid on projects for larger, more robust companies. It’s these larger companies that actually pre-screen potential contractors to ensure that they have a solid safety track record.
Along with all the success Denham-Blythe has achieved, the challenge to continue to recruit and hire the best talent is firmly on the radar. “We are seeing a turning of the tide now to more interest in vocational programs and construction trades, because people are realizing you can make a good wage.” To scout out future talent, Denham-Blythe has established a co-op program where high school students have the chance to get a real-world view of how things work at the company.
But there’s more to what the company does than steel and concrete. Certain jobs stand out for their impact on the lives of people and the environment, which is an important legacy for the company.
For example, “We will be working to build a game-changing plastics recycling facility,” shares Patterson. “It will be brand new in the industry and we are very proud to be part of that opportunity. It should be under construction in the last quarter of the year. We also work in healthcare building so we know that we are doing work that helps people directly.”
Kentucky American Water has broken ground on a new Field Operations maintenance garage in Owenton, Ky. The company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with business leaders and elected officials today at the site, located at 409 Main Street in Owenton next to the Owen County Judicial Center. The $1.4 million project is scheduled for completion by spring 2020.
“Kentucky American Water is pleased to continue its investment in Owenton and Owen County through the construction of this much-needed facility,” said Nathan Clark, senior superintendent of operations. “This new field operations maintenance garage will provide enhanced support for our field crews by offering improved, centralized, climate-controlled storage capabilities for equipment and materials. It will also improve the manner in which we are able to receive deliveries of materials and offer better facilities for employee training sessions, including a multi-media training room. We believe that this facility will enable employees to perform their roles more safely, efficiently and cost-effectively, and that ultimately translates into enhanced service for our customers.”
The 9,900-square-foot maintenance garage will contain nearly 6,600 square feet of garage space as well as 3,400 square feet of support areas for restroom and shower facilities, a break room and areas for support and supervisory personnel.
“I am extremely excited that Kentucky American Water has chosen to build its new field service garage in Owenton,” said Owenton Mayor Adam Gaines. “People may not realize that Kentucky American Water is a private company, and thus could have built their garage anywhere they wanted. Their decision to build within the city limits of Owenton is just one more shining example of their commitment to the people and city of Owenton. Through my term as mayor I’ve come to not only see Kentucky American Water as an ally in improving the quality of life of our residents, but also as a friend!”
“This facility is another example of Kentucky American Water’s commitment to our community, and reiterates what a great community partner they have been,” said Owen County Judge Executive Casey Ellis. “Whether through capital investments or through the many community programs they support, Owen County is more prosperous because of Kentucky American Water’s continued commitment.”
Kentucky American Water, based in Lexington, Ky., has served Owen County since 2001 when it purchased the former Tri-Village Water District. It later purchased the water assets of Elk Lake Water District as well as, in 2005, the water and wastewater assets of the City of Owenton. In 2010 the company completed construction of its Kentucky River Station II at Hardin’s Landing, a 25 MGD water treatment facility located on the Kentucky River at the Franklin/Owen County line on US 127N. The water treatment facility originally served the company’s Central Division customers in Central Kentucky only, but in 2014 the facility was connected to the company’s Owen County system so that it could serve the company’s Northern Division customers, too.
By Kaitlyn Brooks
Despite the dreary weather on Thursday morning, there was plenty to be happy about as the Asahi Forge Corporation broke ground on their third plant in Richmond.
Gathered under a tent across the street from Asahi Bluegrass Forge plant, some of Richmond’s prominent gathered, such as Mayor Robert Blythe, State Rep. Deanna Frazier and presidents from several area corporations, to be apart of the historic event.
“It’s very unique for Richmond to get an expansion like this to have three plants from the same corporation,” Richmond Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) Executive Director David Stipe said.
Asahi Forge Corporation first broke ground in the Richmond area in 2002 when the corporation asked to lease 18 acres of land from Richmond Auto Parts Technology (RAPT). A year later, the company held a ground-breaking ceremony for Asahi Forge of America (AFA) Corporation.
Since their opening, AFA has expanded twice and now boasts 75 associates.
“In March 2016, Asahi Forge of America Corporation purchased the land they had leased from RAPT, plus a little more. Today, they now own, according to my records, (19.8) acres in park number two,” said Jimmy Howard, member of the RIDC board and former Richmond city manager.
Howard was approached by Kiki Creech, accounting manager for AFA, who said she and another associate would like to meet. During the meeting, Howard said he was pleasantly surprised to learn that AFA was interested in building a second plant in industrial park three.
In April of 2011, Asahi Bluegrass Forge (ABF) broke ground for a second time after fair and reasonable negotiations for 22 acres of land, according to Howard.
After the opening of ABF in 2012, it has seen one expansion and has 75 associates.
Howard thanked Creech for her assistance during the project, as her help was invaluable every step of the way.
In 2018, Stipes announced to the RIDC that Asahi was going to purchase land for a third manufacturing plant.
“Today is a very important day for the city of Richmond. Ground is about to be broken for a third plant,” Howard said. “Perhaps there is another city in Kentucky that’s had the good fortune of having a company to build three plants in their industrial park but I can’t name that city, I don’t believe they exist. We are very fortunate.”
Creech spoke to the audience in attendance at the groundbreaking as well, and noted that the new plant was apart of a three columned business plan, the first being hub production which is already established with ABF and AFA, the second being the groundbreaking location and third that will work on suspension products.
“As I mentioned, this is the second business column for Asahi Forge. This means we’re not done yet,” she said.
Creech said the corporation plans to hire 80 people and hopes to have $50 million in annual sales by 2023. The total capital investment for this project will be $40 million. The company that has been contracted to build the plant is Denham-Blythe, which also was contracted for the Okonite Company. Asahi hopes to see the completion of the new plant by May 2020.
Hiroshi Asahi, president of Asahi Forge Corporation, said he likes Richmond and that it has very kind people, one of the reasons why his company chose to build here again. He also noted that having all of his corporations in one spot made it easier to control operations, especially when looking towards the future of the company.
For more information about the Asahi Forge Corporation, visit https://www.asahiforge.co.jp/en.
By Amy Doane
Bluegrass Care Navigators, one of the largest nonprofit hospice providers in the nation, today celebrated the organization’s growth and future with a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new headquarters.
The organization’s operations will continue to be based in Lexington, Ky. on Harrodsburg Road, but will move to a five-acre campus with nearly 60,000 square feet of office space. The Lexington offices serve as a statewide headquarters for the company, which supports five regional offices and more than 550 employees throughout northern, central and eastern Kentucky.
“As a registered nurse, I know how important it is to have quality hospice care,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “With this new facility, Bluegrass Care Navigators will be able to meet the needs of Kentucky families for many years to come.”
Volunteers and donors founded the organization in 1978, operating in a house on Nicholasville Road. The organization estimates that it has provided end-of-life and palliative care services to more than 100,000 Kentuckians over 41 years. While hospice care remains our largest and core service, Bluegrass Care Navigators now provides a wide range of services to support those facing chronic and serious illnesses.
“Bluegrass Care Navigators has built a reputation for providing comforting care at the right time to the seriously ill in our community. We want to keep helping those who need care and services in their homes,” said CEO Liz Fowler. “Our goal is to keep growing – and keep innovating. With this new headquarters, we will be well-positioned to provide more of the care our community has come to know and expect.”
The headquarters will include many new improvements, including a dedicated bereavement center for grief care, clinical training areas and multipurpose outdoor venues. The legacy of donors and volunteers who founded the current Lexington campus will be commemorated at the new location.
“These new opportunities are only made possible by those who paved the way, particularly through the support of the Kaufmann family who funded our current campus,” said Board Chairwoman Shannon Arvin. “As we plan the design of our new headquarters, those who have contributed to our past buildings will continue to be honored.”
Bluegrass Care Navigators anticipates the new headquarters to be open by March 2020.
Bluegrass Care Navigators provides hospice care in 32 counties across central, eastern and northern Kentucky. In addition, the agency supports those facing serious illness or chronic disease with private duty nursing, home primary care, transitional care, adult day health care, grief care and palliative care services.
Photo and article by Ben Kleppinger
There are 65 new jobs in Danville today. Denyo Manufacturing held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of its new expansion, a 63,000-square-foot facility dedicated to sheet metal fabrication, for use in the generators and air compressors made at the factory.
The ceremony wasn’t just ceremonial — it was held within hours of the facility coming online.
“I literally just received the occupancy certificate yesterday,” said Joey Harris, the plant manager at Denyo who has been with the company since it opened in Danville 25 years ago. “Look how quickly we filled it up,” Harris joked, gesturing to the more than 200 people in attendance on the factory floor.
Much of the equipment being used in the expansion is made by Amada, including a brand new “ACIES” machine that Harris said is “one of the latest in technology — life has just been given to it as we speak. It’s a brand new machine.”
This is Denyo’s fifth expansion since it opened in Danville, said Kenji Yamamichi, chief operating officer for Denyo’s U.S. division.
Denyo has grown from around 65 employees when Yamamichi first came here in 2010 to 265 today, he said. The newest expansion gives Denyo the ability to fabricate its own sheet metal — a necessary addition as the number of sheet metal suppliers available has dwindled in recent years.
Denyo first took over operations for one sheet metal manufacturer in Nicholasville after it announced it would go out of business. That 27-person operation has grown and now moved to Danville as part of the expansion. Denyo now has 76 people employed in sheet metal production, Yamamichi said.
Every worker from the Nicholasville facility stayed and moved to Danville with the Denyo expansion, something Yamamichi said he is very proud of them for doing.
“We committed to stay in Danville; we committed to grow together with Danville,” he said.
The Denyo plant is now 250,000 square feet, a huge increase from the 84,000 square feet it started with, Harris said.
Jody Lassiter, president and CEO of Develop Danville, said Denyo has become the fifth-largest industry in Boyle County “by sheer employment.”
“I think that is an incredible achievement that you have made,” he said.
Shiochi Shiratori, president of Denyo Co. Ltd., the company’s top executive, made the trip to Kentucky for the ceremony. He said Denyo’s growth in the U.S. is remarkable.
“Continue to make better products and aim for further growth,” he told the workers in attendance. “… I wish everyone and all your families happiness.”
Harris said Denyo’s continued expansion has been made possible by record sales years for Multiquip, the company that sells Denyo-manufactured products.
Bob Graydon, president and CEO of Multiquip, said Denyo’s and Multiquip’s growth is due in part to “favorable conditions” in the construction market, “but it’s more than that.”
“We attract and keep new customers because you guys make the best portable generators in the world — that’s true,” he said. “… Customers always want things. They want bigger, faster, higher quality, cheaper. I can’t help them with the cheaper part; I’m not going to. But the rest — that’s where our opportunity is. This is how we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the competition out there who just wish they were you. … We are the best in the industry and with your help, we intend to stay there.”
Harris said the new equipment and square footage wouldn’t matter without Denyo’s reliable and hard-working employees.
“The part that I’m most proud of is our DMC family,” he said. “Without them, this is just a building filled with stuff. People are what makes this company come alive and stay alive.”
Denham-Blythe Company is proud to announce a new safety milestone of one million man-hours without a lost time injury as of November 15, 2018. This accomplishment is a result of Denham-Blythe employees’ continuous commitment to safety and the ongoing education, resources, and awareness that the Denham-Blythe safety team provides to every employee and subcontractor involved with a Denham-Blythe project.
Sam Boley, Safety Director at Denham-Blythe, credits the achievement as a team accomplishment, “we reached this milestone because our employees truly value the safety of each other and aren’t afraid to use our safety team as a resource. Denham-Blythe has come a long way in establishing a safety culture that is leading by example in the construction industry.”
The Denham-Blythe safety team consists of six full-time safety officers who regularly audit all project sites and manage company-wide safety education. Led by Sam Boley, the Denham-Blythe safety culture is ingrained through a Zero Harm philosophy which teaches employees, subcontractors, and clients to analyze how every action they take will affect themselves, others, and their environment. Using Job Hazard Analysis, they can take necessary steps to remove or mitigate any risks associated with their tasks.
Denham-Blythe’s goal of the Zero Harm program is to promote an environment that encourages clear communication regarding safety. “When safety is negatively policed, employees are discouraged from asking for resources and asking for help,” said Sam Boley. “Because our company’s top priority is keeping every person safe, we have been able to promote a positive culture and maintain open discussions regarding job-site safety.”
Denham-Blythe’s continued success of safely building quality projects for more than 40 years is derived from the clear efforts of its safety team’s involvement. By teaching and rewarding safe work practices, Denham-Blythe is contributing to building trust and dependability at all projects and with every client.
On October 1, 2018, Asahi Bluegrass Forge hosted a ceremony to celebrate their newly completed facility expansion and the start-up of their new forging press at the manufacturing plant in Richmond, Kentucky.
The ceremony was led by Mark Asahi, Managing Director of Asahi Forge Corporation, and Mack Ishigaki, President of Asahi Bluegrass Forge. Following Shinto religious traditions, Mark and Mack performed a ground purification ritual by sprinkling Japanese sake and salt around the press and expansion area. The ceremony continued with a few words of praise from Mark Asahi regarding this milestone for Asahi Bluegrass Forge and Asahi Corporation and concluded with the firing of the new press.
Denham-Blythe’s CEO Bill Quenemoen, President James Davis, Construction and Development Manager Rene DeBerdt, and Project Manager Jordan Lewis were in attendance at the event. Denham-Blythe Company has worked closely with Asahi Forge Corporation for many years, including the construction of the 68,000 SF Asahi Bluegrass Forge plant in 2011.
Denham-Blythe designed and built this 38,300 SF expansion to accommodate the installation of ABF’s fifth press. Project highlights include concrete foundation for the new press, an upgraded cooling water system, the extension of an existing crane way, and the installation of a five-ton crane. Outside of the expanded facility, Denham-Blythe relocated an existing scrap material handling building and placed new pavement for outdoor storage and vehicle access. The project was completed without disrupting production in the existing facility.
Asahi Forge Corporation is a leading manufacturer of automotive suspension bearing components. The addition of this 3000-ton press will increase ABF’s production to help meet the Automotive industry’s growing demand of this product. Asahi Bluegrass Forge is one of three Asahi Corporation manufacturing facilities that are based in the USA. Asahi Forge America is also located in Richmond, Kentucky. NTA Precision Axle Corporation is located in Carol Stream, Illinois.
The Denham-Blythe Tennessee office hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening reception to celebrate the completion of the new office building on August 17, 2018.
Family, friends, clients, and partners came out to tour the new space while enjoying drinks and refreshments. The office features a modern industrial aesthetic that includes exposed steel, polished concrete, and exterior aluminum panels.
As Denham-Blythe continues to grow, the new space will enable the company to further advance its service capabilities for current and future clients. This move marks a huge milestone for the company, and specifically for Denham-Blythe’s Tennessee Operations President, Vance Hohn, who spearheaded the founding of the Nashville office in 1999.
“It is such a blessing to have a nice building that we call our work place,” said Vance. “We are proud of our new home that is not only for us, but also for the future employees of Denham-Blythe.”
Thank you to all who came to out to celebrate the Goodlettsville office grand opening! Denham-Blythe is grateful for your support and looks forward to opportunities ahead as the Tennessee team begins a new chapter.