FAIRLAWN, OH - OMNOVA Solutions announced an investment to repurpose, or redirect, excess styrene butadiene (SB) latex capacity at its plant in Mogadore, OH, to the production of styrene acrylic and other specialty emulsion polymer chemistries. The project will allow OMNOVA to optimize its existing assets and provide significantly greater flexibility to respond to the company's changing business mix. At the same time, it is expected to improve SB industry capacity utilization. Following the transition, OMNOVA expects to save approximately $4 million per year in lower operating costs.  

As part of the 20-month project, production of styrene acrylics and other latices at OMNOVA's Akron, OH, site will be transitioned to upgraded, more efficient polymerization assets at the nearby Mogadore plant. The Akron plant will remain a finishing facility, dedicated to dry polymer manufacturing and packaging.

Once the transition is complete, the Mogadore plant – with capabilities in styrene butadiene, styrene butadiene acrylonitrile, bio-polymers, hollow plastic pigments, acrylics, styrene acrylics, in-mold coatings and fluorosurfactants – will have the most diverse range of capabilities within OMNOVA's Performance Chemicals business.  At the same time, OMNOVA's Akron plant will continue as a leading producer of dry polymers for several high-growth markets, including coatings and oil and gas drilling.

The production transition will result in a modest workforce reduction, which the company anticipates will be addressed primarily through normal attrition over the 20-month project.