Very recently (Cai et al 2010 Phys. Rev. E 82 021921), a simple mechanism was presented by which a molecule subjected to forced oscillations, out of thermal equilibrium, can maintain quantum entanglement between two of its quantum degrees of freedom. Crucially, entanglement can be maintained even in the presence of very intense noise, so intense that no entanglement is possible when the forced oscillations cease. This mechanism may allow for the presence of nontrivial quantum entanglement in biological systems. Here we significantly enlarge the study of this model. In particular, we show that the persistent generation of dynamic entanglement is not restricted to the bosonic heat bath model, but can also be observed in other decoherence models, e. g. the spin gas model, and in non-Markovian scenarios. We also show how conformational changes can be used by an elementary machine to generate entanglement even in unfavorable conditions. In biological systems, similar mechanisms could be exploited by more complex molecular machines or motors.