BEACHWOOD, OH - OMNOVA Solutions 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.

Recognized for “Stain Resistant Finish for Coated Fabrics” in the New Product Development/Commercialization category are: Marilyn Germano, Barry Goldslager, Charles Kausch, Rick Thomas, Raymond Weinert and James Robbins, who work at the company’s Global Technology Center in Akron, OH. 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 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.

Recognized for “Styrene Butadiene (SB) Latex by Controlled Polymerization and Improved Process” in the Continuous Innovation categories are:  Pam Arndorfer and Kristie Crocker in Green Bay, WI; Mike Flickinger, Yongsin Kim, and Mitch Shipman at the Global Technology Center in Akron, OH; and Scott Sabourin, who works in Field Sales. 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.

Honored for “Cost of Quality Performance Improvement (Jeannette, PA)” in the LEAN SixSigma Excellence category are Jared Antonacci in Monroe, NC, and John Coulter, Dan Hilt, Dave Kostrzewski and Josh Scott, who are in Jeannette, PA. The team used LEAN SixSigma tools, including value stream analysis, to evaluate and identify areas of waste that were negatively contributing to the Jeannette, PA, 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.

Recognized for “G enCryl Pt® by Semi-Continuous Process with Controlled Polymer Architecture” in the Core Competence Building category are: Kristie Crocker in Green Bay, WI; Scott Frasca in Field Sales; Mike Flickinger, Mitch Shipman and Yongsin Kim at the Global Technology Center in Akron; and Rochelle Morgan at the company’s pilot plant in Mogadore, OH. 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.

Recognized for “Creation of the Magnetic Resonance Facility” in the Core Competence Building category are Tammy Donohue, Matthew Espe and William Sands, all working at the Akron 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 in Akron, 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.

Honored for “Water-Based Low TVOC and Odor Coated Vinyl for Automotive Application" in the New Product Development/Commercialization category are Sunny He, John Zhao  and Lu Zhenhai, who all work in 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.