OMNOVA Solutions on July 27 announced its 2009 Technology Award recipients. This annual award program recognizes exemplary technology-based contributions by associates in OMNOVA's research and development, sales and marketing, technical service, operations, product management and LEAN SixSigma organizations.

Technological innovations in new product development and process improvements are positively impacting customers in virtually all of OMNOVA's served markets including coated fabrics for automotive interiors, decorative paper laminates, commercial wallcoverings, performance films used in healthcare products, as well as performance chemicals for paper, floor care, oil drilling and other specialty applications.

Recipients hail from across OMNOVA's global operations, including its Performance Chemicals business segment facilities in Akron, Ohio; Mogadore, Ohio; Chester, South Carolina; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Fitchburg, Massachusetts; and Decorative Products business segment facilities in Monroe, North Carolina; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Mississippi; Fairlawn, Ohio; and Shanghai, China.

"Innovation enables OMNOVA to grow by differentiating our Company as a value-added supplier to our customers in today's challenging operating environment," said Kevin McMullen, OMNOVA Solutions' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This year's recipients have successfully built on OMNOVA's core competencies in our existing markets and further enhanced our products and processes as we continue to broaden our scope in new, adjacent markets. Several of these award-winning technologies also deliver environmentally preferred attributes, expanding on our sustainability commitment. These breakthroughs represent another example of OMNOVA's unyielding commitment to our customers and markets, and to making investments that further expand our capabilities to meet our customers' needs."

Innovation titles, summaries and recipients are as follows:

  RECORE® Recycled Wall Technology
  Ronnie Bell - Columbus, Mississippi
  Rob Moore - Columbus, Mississippi
  Otis Allen - Columbus, Mississippi
  Reba Ingram - Columbus, Mississippi
  Tony Warrington - Columbus, Mississippi

When OMNOVA introduced its revolutionary RECORE® Recycled Wall Technology, it was an industry first with the highest content of recycled material. Wallcoverings with RECORE technology contain 30% recycled content and have been certified to contain a minimum 20% post-consumer recycled content by Scientific Certification Systems, a global leader in independent certification of environmental product claims. This team from OMNOVA's Columbus, Mississippi facility worked with plant associates and outside suppliers to fully integrate this innovation into its processes. Today, OMNOVA's most popular wallcovering brands, including Bolta®, Essex(TM), Genon® and Tower®, as well as viewnique(TM) digital wall murals, utilize RECORE Recycled Wall Technology.

GenCryl Pt® 9457 High Performance Paper Latex
  Pam Arndorfer - Green Bay, Wisconsin
  Brian Doucet - Mogadore, Ohio
  Michael Flickinger - Akron, Ohio
  Joy Untch - Mogadore, Ohio
  Bill Verhasselt - Green Bay, Wisconsin
  John Westerman - Akron, Ohio

Building on OMNOVA's award-winning GenCryl Pt® paper latex technology platform, this cross-functional team, along with associates from the Company's Mogadore, Ohio pilot plant and Green Bay, Wisconsin facility, developed a high performance latex with enhanced paper printing attributes. GenCryl Pt 9457 latex is currently being utilized at several printing mills across the United States. OMNOVA is continually working with its paper latex customers to develop products based on this innovation to meet the needs of their manufacturing processes and end use specifications.

Mor-Shine® G-31.5 Environmentally Preferred Floor Polish Formulation
  Jamey Gaston - Chester, South Carolina
  Bill Beers - Chester, South Carolina
  Don Kim - Akron, Ohio
  Russ Craig - Chester, South Carolina
  Suzanne Hurrey - Fitchburg, Massachusetts

This team led OMNOVA's floor care specialty chemicals group in the commercialization of Mor-Shine® G-31.5 floor polish formulation. This formulation has been qualified under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment program for containing ingredients with more positive environmental characteristics than conventional floor polishes. It is also California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2010 compliant for low VOC emissions. Building on OMNOVA's core technical competencies in commercial and industrial floor care products, Mor-Shine G-31.5 utilizes two innovative and proprietary components - NM® 128 floor care polymer and PolyFox(TM) PF-2002 fluorosurfactant - to deliver the performance desired by the end user, as well as a strong environmental profile.

Paper Laminates Performance Coating Development
  Milton Johnson - Monroe, North Carolina
  Nick Gusler - Monroe, North Carolina
  Bill Guillot - Monroe, North Carolina
  Ron Collette - Monroe, North Carolina

This team worked closely with internal and external stakeholders to develop a new coating for OMNOVA's Paper Laminates. Following extensive research and development that was supported by the Company's strong LEAN SixSigma process improvement approach, the coating was fully integrated into the Monroe, North Carolina facility's manufacturing processes. The coating delivers excellent functional attributes, while improving plant productivity.

Inflatable Medical Mattress Films
  Sunil Deoras - Jeannette, Pennsylvania
  Tim Polaski - Jeannette, Pennsylvania
  Roxanne Smith - Fairlawn, Ohio

This cross-functional team recognized an opportunity for OMNOVA to increase its participation in the medical products market with vinyl films for use in inflatable mattress applications. Mattresses for this particular application are selectively inflated with air to reduce the potential for bed sores, providing relief to patients. Working in close collaboration with a customer, the team developed a product to meet the strict specifications for products used in patient care facilities, as well as those mandated by federal regulations.

Bio-Based Copolymer for Oil/Gas Drilling Fluids
  Lulu Alborno - Chester, South Carolina
  Dan Bode - Field Sales
  Dan Hagerty - Mogadore, Ohio
  Doug Harper - Chester, South Carolina
  Tim Saddow - Chester, South Carolina
  Rita Vickerman - Mogadore, Ohio

This team worked to leverage one of OMNOVA's environmentally preferred paper latex product platforms for use in oil and gas drilling applications. In collaboration with customers, OMNOVA successfully developed and commercialized a revolutionary new copolymer for use in drilling muds. This chemistry is gaining broad acceptance in the market through its superior performance features and strong environmental profile.

Bio-Based Copolymer Manufacturing Process
  Jim Vaughn - Mogadore, Ohio
  Brian Doucet - Mogadore, Ohio
  Glen Pellett - Chester, South Carolina
  Heather Hackenbracht - Mogadore, Ohio
  Rachel Blei - Mogadore, Ohio

This cross-functional team successfully enabled OMNOVA to develop and commercialize unique, environmentally preferred copolymers for release coatings and other specialty chemical markets. Development took place at OMNOVA facilities in Mogadore, Ohio and Calhoun, Georgia. The team overcame a number of hurdles through strong collaboration and data analysis.

Automotive Seating - Asia Market
  Frank Chen - Shanghai, China
  Jiang Bin - Shanghai, China
  Sam Zhang - Shanghai, China
  Jiming Sun - Shanghai, China
  Henry Hong - Shanghai, China
  Titan Tian - Shanghai, China
  Lily Liu - Shanghai, China
  Grace Chen - Shanghai China
  Coco Zhang - Shanghai, China

In close collaboration with the customer and external partners, OMNOVA's Decorative Products China team developed an innovative leather upholstery with a unique textile backing for automotive interior applications. This required adherence to the customer's detailed specifications, as well as enhancements to OMNOVA's manufacturing processes. The new upholstery product was utilized in three models for a major automaker at the end of 2009 with additional business expected in 2010.

OMNOVA Solutions is a technology-based company with 2009 sales of $696 million and a workforce of approximately 2,300 employees worldwide. OMNOVA is an innovator of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and decorative and functional surfaces for a variety of commercial, industrial and residential end uses.