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.”
By Ben Kleppinger
Renovations of the old Caterpillar factory are underway and the company planning to use the facility, Adkev Inc., received approval this week to build an addition.
Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning commissioners held a public hearing Wednesday and approved a site plan for a new 5,200-square-foot building on the former Caterpillar property.
The building will serve as a dye storage area, allowing all of the original building to be used for processing, said Milton Hammons, a representative for Denham-Blythe, the general contractor working for Adkev.
According to the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, Denham-Blythe has already begun renovation of the original Caterpillar facility.
Adkev is a plastic injection molding from Indiana that announced plans in June 2017 to invest $15.7 million in the recently closed Caterpillar plant and create 70 jobs there in a first phase. There are “plans to grow to 150” employees in the future, according to previous statements from EDP President Jody Lassiter.
Adkev has said it expects to be in operation in 2019. It plans to hire at least 25 people with a total payroll of around $972,000 in its first year, according to local payroll tax incentive agreements with Danville City Commission and the Boyle County Fiscal Court. That’s expected to grow to 40 employees with a $1.4-million payroll in year two and to 70 employees with a $2.56-million payroll in year five, according to the agreements.
Danville and Boyle County plan to give Adkev almost $350,000 in payroll tax breaks if the employment targets are met.
P&Z Director Steve Hunter said Wednesday’s site plan approval by the P&Z Commission was needed because the local zoning ordinance requires approval for any building that exceeds 3,000 square feet. The building represents an expansion of only about 2.7 percent of the existing “188,000-plus-square-foot” building, he said.
Adkev has been around since 1987 and currently operates two facilities — a corporate office in Woodland, Indiana and another facility in Monticello, Indiana.
Caterpillar first announced plans to close its Danville facility in 2015; the plant was shuttered in 2017.