OMNOVA Solutions Recognizes Employee Innovations with 2014 Technology Awards

Aug 11, 2015, 16:30 ET from OMNOVA Solutions

BEACHWOOD, Ohio, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- OMNOVA Solutions (NYSE: OMN) recently announced its 2014 Technology Award recipients. This annual award program recognizes exemplary technological contributions by associates in OMNOVA's research and development, sales and marketing, technical service, operations and LEAN SixSigma organizations.

These innovations in product development and process improvement are positively impacting customers in many of OMNOVA's served markets including performance chemicals for a variety of specialty chemical applications, as well as coated fabrics for automotive seating.

Recipients hail from across OMNOVA's global operations, including facilities in Akron, Ohio; Mogadore, Ohio; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Monroe, North Carolina; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Minhang, China.

"As a global, customer-centric company, we are continually taking actions that will enhance the value we deliver to our customers and lead to profitable growth," said Kevin McMullen, OMNOVA Solutions' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The foundation of these efforts is the enhancement of our existing competencies, as well as the development of new, sustainable products and processes that position our customers and our Company for the future. These innovation teams have clearly demonstrated their commitment to our core values and have strengthened our diverse technology base.

"We are working hard to continually enhance our ability to identify new opportunities in our existing and adjacent markets to leverage OMNOVA technology to provide unique value added solutions for meeting unmet customer needs. These and other ongoing innovation efforts position us to further meet the needs of the markets we serve, profitably grow and become a more valuable supplier to our customers, while reaffirming our commitment as a responsible member of the communities in which we operate."

Innovation titles, summaries and recipients are as follows:

Stain Resistant Finish for Coated Fabrics Category: New Product Development/Commercialization

  • Marilyn Germano - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Barry Goldslager - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Charles Kausch - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Rick Thomas - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Raymond Weinert - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • James Robbins - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)

Performance Chemicals and Engineered Surfaces division team members worked collaboratively to develop and implement new topcoats that extend the competitive advantage of the PreFixx® finish when applied to coated fabrics. They utilized the Company's unique PolyFox™ fluorochemicals to provide a more stain resistant PreFixx® finish. The new topcoat allows improved stain resistance and easier cleaning of stains, including permanent markers, offering customers stain protection that is a leader in the industry. 

Styrene Butadiene (SB) Latex by Controlled Polymerization and Improved Process  Category: Continuous Innovation

  • Pam ArndorferGreen Bay, Wisconsin
  • Kristie CrockerGreen Bay, Wisconsin
  • Mike Flickinger - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Yongsin Kim - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Scott Sabourin – Field Sales
  • Mitch Shipman - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • John Westerman - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)

The team developed a SB latex for the paper industry that delivers styrene butadiene acrylonitrile terpolymer latex performance. The latex provides increased strength as well as the ability to produce multi-modal products, delivering high strength and superior optical properties in one product.

Cost of Quality Performance Improvement (Jeannette, PACategory: LEAN SixSigma Excellence

  • Jared AntonacciMonroe, North Carolina
  • John CoulterJeannette, Pennsylvania
  • Dan HiltJeannette, Pennsylvania
  • Dave KostrzewskiJeannette, Pennsylvania
  • Josh ScottJeannette, Pennsylvania

The team used LEAN SixSigma tools, including value stream analysis, to evaluate and identify areas of waste that were negatively contributing to the Jeannette, Pennsylvania laminates and films plant's long term competitive position. The tools identified many potential opportunities, and numerous projects were run to eliminate waste. The projects generated improvements in material flow and handling, defective material reduction, inventory management and communication. This led to a significant reduction in overall quality related costs to the plant.  

GenCryl Pt® by Semi-Continuous Process with Controlled Polymer Architecture  Category: Core Competence Building

  • Kristie CrockerGreen Bay, Wisconsin
  • Mike Flickinger - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Scott Frasca – Field Sales
  • Yongsin Kim - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Rochelle Morgan – Pilot Plant, Mogadore, Ohio
  • Mitch Shipman - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)

The team developed a new high strength, low odor latex designed specifically to maximize the efficiency of the latex in a specific customer's formulation. The improved polymer properties were achieved by identifying critical polymer structures that provided maximum binding strength. New processing parameters were developed to control the polymerization, allowing production of polymer structures needed to deliver superior performance. The new product resulted in binder reductions and lower end use cost for this customer, and a new capability that can be leveraged more broadly.

Creation of the Magnetic Resonance Facility  Category: Core Competence Building

  • Tammy Donohue - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • Matthew Espe, Ph.D - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)
  • William Sands - Akron, Ohio (Global Technology Center)

This award acknowledges the continuous innovation benefits provided by OMNOVA's Magnetic Resonance Facility (MRF). The MRF was established in OMNOVA's Global Technology Center (GTC) in Akron, Ohio, and the facility supports new product development (NPD), manufacturing and customer support. The facility has benefited OMNOVA through expedited NPD, developing rapid solutions to manufacturing issues, providing customer support and qualifying secondary raw material sources. The facility has been involved in projects across all business units, as well as supporting analytical efforts worldwide.

Water-based Low TVOC and Odor Coated Vinyl for Automotive Application  Category: New Product Development/Commercialization

  • Sunny He – Minhang, China
  • John Zhao  – Minhang, China
  • Lu Zhenhai  – Minhang, China

OMNOVA's global coated fabrics team proposed to a large automotive manufacturer in China that it switch from the current solvent-based coated product to a fully water-based coated product. The product was successfully launched in May 2014. This initiative greatly reduced the concentration level of eight types of solvents in the passenger car compartment, enhancing air quality. Total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) test results show an obvious reduction of solvents level in the product. This demonstrated OMNOVA's valued-added capabilities and services in helping to improve overall vehicle performance in the market.

OMNOVA Solutions Inc. is a technology-based company with 2014 sales of $1 billion and a global workforce of approximately 2,300.  OMNOVA is an innovator of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional and decorative surfaces for a variety of commercial, industrial and residential end uses.  Visit OMNOVA Solutions at

GENCRYL PT and PREFIXX are registered trademarks of OMNOVA Solutions.  POLYFOX is a trademark used under license.