PolyOne Creates Solution Center in Avon Lake to Anchor Growing Technology Investment
May 16, 2002
* Customer-focused facility will centralize technical expertise, equipment * Center to consolidate plastic compounding labs in North American PCC * Key PolyOne scientists, technicians will be offered opportunity to relocate
CLEVELAND, May 16, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- PolyOne
Corporation (NYSE: POL), a leader in polymer compounding and related services,
announced today that it will establish a PolyOne Solution Center at its Avon
Lake, Ohio, site, where it will consolidate many of its laboratory personnel and
much of its lab equipment to accelerate product development for its customers.
The Company plans to relocate many of the plastic compounding/product
development labs from PolyOne's North American Plastic Compounds and Colors
(PCC) business, to a 35,000-square-foot building at Avon Lake. The existing
25,000-square-foot vinyl development center, known as the Polymer Processing
Center, will remain in Avon Lake.
The PolyOne Solution Center will be staffed by approximately 40 salaried
personnel dedicated to serving PolyOne customers. The staffing will include
relocated PolyOne laboratory personnel, including product development
scientists, plus the existing salaried personnel working at the Avon Lake
Polymer Processing Center.
Relocating to Strengthen Customer Relationships
"With the creation of the PolyOne Solution Center, we are laying the groundwork
for sustained investments in research and product development," said PolyOne
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas A. Waltermire. "By bringing
scientists from different disciplines together at a common site, we will
strengthen our technical capabilities in pursuit of better, faster customer
"This stimulating and innovating environment will encourage even more contact
between our customers and our key PolyOne technical people," Waltermire added.
"Our goal is a seamless transition that preserves the special relationships
between our experts and the customers they serve."
The consolidation will make optimal use of equipment, which will be moved from
current PolyOne labs, thus minimizing PolyOne's initial investment. These
laboratory moves stem from PolyOne's Project Triple Crown, announced last year,
to modernize the North American operations of Plastic Compounds and Colors
(PCC), PolyOne's largest business unit, by investing nearly $50 million to
create Centers of Manufacturing Excellence (CMEs). The capital investment and
other costs associated with this announcement have already been reported within
the Company's announcements in the last 18 months on the creation of the CMEs.
PolyOne expects to complete the lab centralization by December 2002.
An "All-Polymer" Capability
The PolyOne Solution Center will research and develop applications across the
full spectrum of polymers, and will have the capability for high- productivity,
24-hour operation if needed. The new lab will focus on engineering
thermoplastics, polyolefins and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). The Polymer
Process Center will retain its focus on vinyl technology.
Following is a listing of current PolyOne laboratories that will be consolidated
at the new PolyOne Solution Center, along with their production and market
* Farmingdale, N.J., wire and cable/vinyl
* Burlington, N.J., packaging/vinyl
* Bethlehem, Pa., engineered thermoplastics
* Norcross, Ga., engineered thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers
* Niagara Falls, Ont., thermoplastic elastomers
At some point in the future, PolyOne plans to move its wire and cable lab in
Macedonia, Ohio, to Avon Lake, where the Company will form a wire and cable
technology team for materials such as vinyl, elastomers and polyolefins.
The following PolyOne labs are not being moved with this announcement:
* Labs outside the North American PCC business
* Color matching labs
* Producer services at Dyersburg, TN; Macedonia, OH; and Seabrook, TX,
which involve custom processing and formulations for customers.
A Superior Site in Polymer Hub
"Northeast Ohio is an excellent location for this technology-based,
customer-driven investment," Waltermire said. "Our professionals will benefit
from the extensive manufacturing expertise at our Avon Lake site, and from the
presence of our analytical and testing subsidiary, Polymer Diagnostics Inc.,
which will allow for the sharing of equipment and knowledge. In the future, we
intend to build on this strong base to create a technical powerhouse."
The external environment offers additional advantages. Northeast Ohio is an
acknowledged leader in polymer manufacturing, processing, research and
education. PolyOne researchers will have ready access to major universities with
top-ranked polymer science programs and their graduates.
PolyOne Corporation, with 2001 revenues of $2.7 billion, is an international
polymer services company with operations in thermoplastic compounds, specialty
resins, specialty polymer formulations, engineered films, color and additive
systems, elastomer compounding and thermoplastic resin distribution.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, PolyOne has employees at manufacturing sites
in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and joint ventures in North
America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Information on the Company's
products and services can be found at www.polyone.com .
In this release, statements that are not reported financial results or other
historical information are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, for example,
statements about business outlook, assessment of market conditions, strategies,
future plans, future sales, prices for major products, inventory levels, capital
spending and tax rates. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of
future performance. They are based on management's expectations that involve a
number of business risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause actual
results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the
forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially include, but are not limited to: (1) an inability to achieve or
delays in achieving savings related to consolidation and restructuring programs;
(2) delays in achieving or inability to achieve the Company's strategic value
initiatives, including cost reduction and employee productivity goals or
achieving less than the anticipated financial benefit from the initiatives; (3)
the effect on foreign operations of currency fluctuations, tariffs,
nationalization, exchange controls, limitations on foreign investment in local
businesses and other political, economic and regulatory risks; (4) changes in
world, regional or U.S. plastic, rubber and PVC consumption growth rates
affecting the Company's markets; (5) changes in global industry capacity or in
the rate at which anticipated changes in industry capacity come online in the
PVC, VCM, chlor- alkali or other industries in which the Company participates;
(6) fluctuations in raw material prices and supply and energy prices and supply,
in particular fluctuations outside the normal range of industry cycles; (7)
production outages or material costs associated with scheduled or unscheduled
maintenance programs; (8) costs or difficulties and delays related to the
operation of joint venture entities; (9) lack of day-to-day operating control,
including procurement of raw material feedstocks, of other equity or joint
venture affiliates; (10) lack of direct control over the reliability of delivery
and quality of the primary raw materials utilized in the Company's products;
(11) partial control over investment decisions and dividend distribution policy
of the OxyVinyls partnership and other minority equity holdings of the Company;
(12) an inability to launch new products and/or services that fit strategically
with and add value to the Company's business; (13) the possibility of goodwill
impairment; (14) an inability to maintain any required licenses or permits; and
(15) an inability to comply with any environmental laws and regulations.
SOURCE PolyOne Corporation
CONTACT: Media & Investors, Dennis Cocco, Chief Investor &
Communications Officer, +1-216-589-4018