FAIRLAWN, OH - OMNOVA Solutions has announced its 2011 Technology Award recipients. The annual award program recognizes exemplary technological contributions by associates in OMNOVA's research and development, sales and marketing, technical service, operations, product management, and LEAN SixSigma organizations.

Recipients hail from across OMNOVA's global operations, including its Performance Chemicals business segment facilities in Akron, OH; Mogadore, OH; Chester, SC; and Green Bay, WI, as well as Villejust, France, and Shanghai, China. OMNOVA's Decorative Products business segment is also well represented, with Technology Award winners from its facilities in Fairlawn, OH; Auburn, PA; and Monroe, NC.

"As a global company, we are continually taking actions that will enhance the value we deliver to our customers and allow us to pursue new and adjacent markets," said Kevin McMullen, OMNOVA Solutions' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The cornerstone of these efforts is the enhancement of our existing competencies, as well as the development of new, sustainable products and processes for the future. These outstanding innovation teams have clearly focused on delivering value to our customers, enhancing our operations and reducing our environmental footprint, positioning OMNOVA for sustained profitable growth as we move forward."

Innovation titles, summaries and recipients are as follows:

Global High Performance Release Coating

Category: New Product Development/Commercialization

Doug Harper – Chester, SC

Bobbi Varnadore – Chester, SC

Tom Walsh – Akron, OH, Global Technology Center

Haiping Fu – Shanghai, China

The strength of OMNOVA's global Performance Chemicals team was highlighted through the development of new release coating technology for the Chinese tape market. The release coating provides enhanced runnability on the customer's production line and delivers improved overall tape performance including overlap/release properties.

Elimination of Print Voids in Laminates

Category: LEAN SixSigma Excellence

Hrishikesh Bhide – Auburn, PA

Mike Weremedic – Auburn, PA

Don Scarnulis – Auburn, PA

Eric Johnson – Fairlawn, OH, World Headquarters

This Decorative Products team identified and implemented "Print Assist Technology" to eliminate the occurrence of print voids, which were small blemishes that would not receive ink during the printing process of vinyl laminates. The new technology ensures that ink will adhere to these voids, improving overall product quality at OMNOVA's Auburn plant. It also reduces the amount of printing ink consumed due to reprints and decreases scrap.

Extreme Condition Fluid Loss Resins for Oil/Gas Drilling Muds

Category: Continuous Innovation

Bertrand Guichard – Villejust, France, Global Technology Center

Patrick Vongphouthone – Villejust, France, Global Technology Center

Cecile Mazard – Villejust, France, Global Technology Center

Bill Brown – Mogadore, OH, Pilot Plant

This global team built on OMNOVA's already robust oil/gas drilling chemical portfolio by developing new fluid loss control polymeric particles for extreme condition drilling muds. These products are designed to provide excellent fluid loss control and low formation damage in oil and synthetic-based fluids (drilling and drill-in fluids, completion fluids, etc.) under extreme heat and pressure conditions that intensify as wells are drilled deeper.

Extending Pot Life of Coatings for Laminates (Monroe, NC)

Category: LEAN SixSigma Excellence

Milton Johnson – Monroe, NC

Tim Van Allen – Monroe, NC

William Nick Gusler, Jr. – Monroe, NC

Ron Collette – Monroe, NC

This team developed a unique coating technology with a longer shelf life that could be reused for multiple production runs without compromising performance. This has enabled the Monroe plant to reduce its raw material costs and significantly decrease waste – a goal for the facility as part of OMNOVA's Vision 2014 sustainability program.

GenCryl Pt® 9525 Paper Coating Latex

Category: New Product Development/Commercialization

Scott Sabourin – Field Technical Sales

Rick Ellenberg – Field Technical Sales

Mark Pomush – Green Bay, WI

John Westerman – Akron, OH, Global Technology Center

This cross-functional team developed a unique paper coating latex to meet specific customer needs for production and performance. GenCryl Pt 9525 provides exceptional paper coating strength attributes while maintaining other key requirements, such as high-speed coater runnability, ideal surface properties and high print fidelity for digital printing applications.