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Because ABCO Refrigeration serves customers in major metropolitan areas along the East Coast, many of whom are large mechanical contractors working in high-rise buildings with confined spaces for mechanical equipment, the need for a niche product became a necessity to compete in the marketplace. So ABCO Refrigeration partnered with manufacturer United Cool Air Corp. (York, Pa.) to design and construct the Stealth Air system.
The Stealth Air system is designed to provide commercial-quality vertical configuration suited for tenant fit out, the replacement market, and new construction. It is available in three self-standing cabinet sizes with cooling capacities from 3 to 15 tons. It is designed specifically for ducted applications, and includes two air path configurations for top or front discharge.
WOWING SHOW ATTENDEESThe "wow factor" was obvious at the trade show where ABCO Refrigeration executives explained the many features to show attendees. The larger 15-ton unit was on display as people entered the building. The smaller 3-ton unit was on display on the show floor.
Hugh Drumm, ABCO vice president of HVAC sales, said that the system fits a metropolitan niche market, and is a perfect fit in the product mix for larger mechanical contactors from Boston to Delaware to New Jersey and beyond. He said that ABCO is very conscious about its name and the quality of products it sells.
"If we are going to put our name on it, we want a good quality product," he said.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Stealth Air system is its ease of installation and service. Martin Yaeger, ABCO vice president, spent time talking about benefits to show attendees. Yaeger said he has been in the business for 56 years, having touched mechanical equipment since he was a youth. He knows what installers and technicians are looking for.
"It is important to make everything easier for the technician," he said. "The wires on the electrical panel are a little longer to allow for meters to be easily clamped and there are connections on both sides for drains, wiring, etc.
"There are no screws to remove to gain access to the components. Even little things like the serial number tag is at eye level."
Yaeger said that response to the Stealth Air from show attendees has "been phenomenal."
FEATURES, BENEFITS AND MOREThe stacked unit makes it an ideal fit in cities where space is at a premium and building owners look to maximize every possible square foot. According to ABCO Refrigeration, each unit receives complete functional testing before it leaves the factory to ensure a quick startup at the jobsite. Efficiency levels conform to ASHRAE 90.1 standards.
Some of the features and benefits include aluminum fin/copper tube coils, top or front discharge, isolated control box, stainless steel drain pan, belt drive condenser blower, and scroll compressors. The cabinet is painted in a textured powder-coated black, a preference of ABCO Refrigeration CEO Michael Senter.
"Everyone raised their eyebrows when I said I wanted black," he recalled. "But everyone likes black cars don't they? It is a sleek color.
"We know there are customers who pay for quality. The market for these units has become too marginalized, too price, price, price."
Senter expects the Stealth Air to be a $15 to $20 million a year product and is anxious for it to debut in the first quarter of 2006.
For more information, visit www.abcorefrigeration.com.
Publication date: 01/09/2006