Longview, TX 75606
|Industrialist hopes to slash AC bills, help environment
By MIKE ELSWICK
Amos Snow III said his back surgery last year turned out to be a business blessing in disguise.
The president and chief executive officer of Bois D'Arc International said based on his calculations, an idea he fine-tuned while off the job, could make a $17 billion impact on the national economy. It could also save individual consumers hundreds of dollars on air-conditioning electric bills, Snow said.
Kevin Green/News-Journal Photo
Amos Snow III, owner of Bois D'Arc International Trade Inc. kneels beside a group of coils at his offices in November 2004 in Longview.
He drew on his expertise as an engineer and operator of a company that manufactures heat-exchange coils for large commercial and industrial heating and air-conditioning units and heater cores for motor homes.
"I needed something to occupy my mind after my back surgery," he said. What he came up with is a new product based on existing technology in the air-conditioning industry.
"This is nothing new," he said of the theory behind his invention called Add-A-Cool. The product's patent is pending and it is going though independent testing at LeTourneau University. It'salso being put to use in the industry and government use in Longview, Houston and Shreveport.
Add-A-Cool is designed to increase the efficiency of air-conditioning condensing units, Snow said. It works by a process he calls sub-cooling, which cools the refrigerant going into the system by up to 20 degrees.
Richard Baney, an engineering professor at LeTourneau University, said while he has not run through the thermo-dynamic details of Snow's product, it has potential and is worth putting through the testing process.
"Just looking at it, there's a good possibility there will be some benefit to consumers," Baney said. "The question is whether that benefit is going to be feasible from a consumer's standpoint."
Paul Boggs, LeTourneau's research administrator, said he anticipates the university's testing would start by the end of April and will be done on campus.
Ray Bostick, operations maintenance manager for the city of Longview's Parks Department, said the city plans to field test Snow's product.
"In my opinion, in theory it makes sense," said Bostick, who is licensed in Texas for heating and air-conditioning work. He said the city is trying to find two identical systems and install Add-A-Cool on one.
Bostick said governmental entities throughout Texas are under legislative directive to explore emerging technologies to reduce energy consumption and related emissions.
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At a glance
What: Add-A-Cool, a new product being manufactured and marketed by Longview's Bois D'Arc International Inc.
Why: Inventor Amos Snow III said the product boosts the efficiency of air-conditioning systems and saves consumers money
Where: Company is located 205 Timpson St., Longview
Cost: Residential-sized units run about $350 installed
Contact: Bois d'Arc International, (903) 758-2647 or 1 (800) 752-7135; www.boisdarccoils.com
(c) 2008 Cox Newspapers, Inc.
|Maker of heat-exchange coils moves to Longview
Author: Jo Lee Ferguson
No voice mail system greets callers to Bois D'Arc International in Longview.
Anyone with a problem something owner Amos Snow III says doesn't happen often will get him on the phone. He greets visitors to the company on Timpson Street without any frills he'll likely wear his trademark overalls regardless of who's visiting.
Snow says he's down to earth and a little on the eccentric side. He doesn't play golf, and he doesn't go to the country club. The Navy veteran, though, is a member of the American Legion.
Being down to earth, though, hasn't stopped him from having big plans for his company, which manufactures heat-exchange coils for large commercial and industrial heating and air-conditioning units and heater cores for motor homes.
The company moved last month from Kilgore to the former Blake Furniture warehouse on Timpson Street.
"The one reason for moving was we outgrew our facility," Snow said. He has plans for more expansion, including next year to build an additional 45,000-square-foot building next to the 35,000-square-foot facility he already owns.
Bois D'Arc was founded in 1989 by Snow's father, Amos Snow II, as a sales company. The family's history in coils, though, goes back much further. The elder Snow was one of the founders of Green and Snow Coil in 1972. It was later sold to another company, although Snow's father remained president until he retired in 1988.
Snow bought Bois D'Arc when his father retired five years ago, and the company had about 60 to 70 customers. He decided to begin manufacturing instead of just sales, with operations starting in 2000. Today, Bois D'Arc has about 850 customers and ships more than 100,000 coils worldwide each year.
While some major coil suppliers have begun using lighter, less expensive materials, Snow said his company continues to use heavier materials because they are "very durable." His customer base, he said, is more concerned about durability than price.
Since moving his company to Longview, Snow said he has added eight employees, for a total of 18. He expects that to increase to 20 to 25 by the end of the year and to 40 to 50 next year. Then, he expects to have more than 100 employees in 2006.
Snow said he bases that projection on feedback from prospective customers for whom his business has made sample coils. Those customers have just been waiting for him to be in a facility where he could produce the volume they require, he said.
He said he bought the building from the Blake family, who owns furniture stores in the area and used the building for a warehouse until last year. He said he first sought a long-term lease from them, but they suggested a purchase.
"They had the forethought to see what this building could do for the city of Longview," he said.
With the help of local lawyer Richard Miller, who assisted in the building purchase and process with Texas Bank and Trust, the city of Longview and others, he moved his company to Longview.
It's a "clean manufacturing" business with no hazardous waste, he said.
"I made the decision this area of town could use someone like us here," he said. Councilwoman Sidney Bell Willis, who represents that area of south Longview, said it is important for a vacant building to be given new life.
"It helps the neighborhood," she said. "We just don't want it to run down. It's right next to Timpson Park, and they're going to improve Timpson Park, so that will be a good help there."
Snow prides himself on never having laid off employees. He said he hates to lay somebody off who's depending on him for their income, and that's his motivation to work hard at sales.
"My business philosophy is if the company's not growing, you're falling behind," he said.
He does whatever it takes to accomplish that goal, he said, including ensuring that his business isn't dependent on one or two accounts. Instead, he said he strives to have "innumerable smaller accounts."
The move to Longview, he said, was "an extremely good move."
"I'm not leaving Longview," he said. "I'm staying right here."
(c) 2004 Cox Newspapers, Inc.
|Bois D’Arc International, Relocates
Amos Snow III is the owner of Bois D'Arc International Trade, a manufacturer of heat exchange coils.
LONGVIEW, Texas — Bois D’Arc International, Inc. is growing. The company recently moved from Kilgor, Texas, to Longview. Bois D’Arc International, owned by Amos Snow III, manufactures heat exchange coils for large commercial and industrial heating, and air conditioning units and heater cores for motor homes.
Snow’s father, Amos Snow II, started Bois D’Arc International as a sales company in 1989. Snow III bought the company five years ago and moved the business to manufacturing as well as sales. The company’s customers have increased from 75 to 850 in the last five years.
“We had sustained growth the last five years and outgrew the facilities. We needed more space,” Snow said. “We had 62-percent growth this past year. We have 18 employees, but I anticipate growing to 40 in 2005, then 100 in 2006.”
Snow has been happy with the move to Longview. The 35,000-square-foot building used to be a Blake Furniture Warehouse.
Even with the recent move, Snow has plans for expansion. The company plans to build an additional 45,000-square-foot building. “The key to our success is the quality of our product and the personalized assistance you get,” Snow said. “I am involved in every procedure and sale. If there is ever a problem, which rarely happens, you can always get me on the phone.”
Publication date: 01/17/2005
Component Makers Work Toward 13 SEER
Component manufacturers see logistics as the key to helping OEM customers meet production schedules.
Many major OEMs make their own heat exchangers, said Craig Grohman, Modine’s program manager for microchannel launch in the HVAC market. “Others, including some smaller companies, are looking at an all-aluminum brazed product we make — microchannel heat exchangers.”
The approaching 13 SEER deadline comes as Modine launches a product line called the PF2.
It is based on parallel-flow or microchannel coils long made by Modine for the automotive and truck markets.
Modine makes round tube plate fin (RTPF) coils with copper tube with aluminum fins, used in the majority of HVACR applications including residential air conditioners, but Grohman said the microchannel coils will become more common in the HVACR market because of efficiency and refrigerant changes pending between 2006 and 2010.
Modine showcased that line at a special meeting during the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) in Orlando Feb. 7-9.
Modine says its PF2 aluminum microchannel technology was de-signed to increase heat transfer coefficients, decrease heat exchanger sizes, improve durability, and increase corrosion resistance.
Amos Snow III, president and chief executive officer of Bois D’Arc International, said the thick-wall copper his company uses has helped bring more demand for his coil.
New refrigerants being adopted by some OEMs operate at higher pressure ranges, he noted. “We engineer coils to fit the applications, so if they need higher condensing capacity we can re-engineer the coils to achieve that.” The company makes both OEM and replacement coils for HVAC use.
He said the company experienced a 70-percent increase in business last year and expects “phenomenal” growth this year, increasing employment from 18 to 40 and more than doubling that number in 2006. Bois D’Arc International recently relocated from Kilgore to Longview, Texas, and plans to build a 45,000-square-foot building in addition to the 35,000-square-foot building it occupies now. (The News, Jan. 10, 2005.)
Using nothing smaller than 3/8-inch tube diameters helps Bois D’Arc achieve “about any performance criteria that needs to be met,” he said. His company makes completed coil assemblies and is moving away from a louvered fin design to a high-pitch corrugation. Snow said that avoids the plugging up that often robs the efficiency of louvered-fin assemblies. The high-pitch corrugation can be cleaned in the field and is more cost effective, he asserted.
Publication date: 2/11/2005
|Local Veterans Angry Over Funeral Protests
Veterans and some religious leaders in East Texas are angry and shocked at the latest form of protesting by a church group from Kansas targeting the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church were caught on film waving anti-American signs and walking on the flag at the Temple, Texas funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq.
"Well, it's truly disgusting. They wrap themselves in the First Amendment and they serve no purpose that anyone can see other than getting a lot of press," said U.S. Navy veteran Amos Snow of Longview.
"I think it's outrageous that anyone would do that at a veteran's funeral," said Korean and Vietnam veteran Don Upton of Longview.
The group has gained national attention for showing up at slain soldiers's funerals to protest homosexuality. Longview minister David Benson's son served in Iraq, and he can't believe what this group has done. "These people purporting to be Christians, that even shocks me more so that someone who is said to portray the lord Christ would actually turn up at someone's most tender time," Benson says.
The church says soldiers are dying because God is punishing the United States for harboring homosexuals. But their method has angered veterans old and young.
"Honestly, it makes me sick. It's hard to think that someone who classifies themselves as an American would do something like this," says Iraq war veteran Stephen Benson.
"They slap every American in the face doing what their doing right now. These soldiers protecting us, it's not right," said Longview Vietnam veteran Jerry Westphalen. More than 100 members of the veteran's group Patriot Guard from all over the country have been trying to block the protests to keep them from disrupting military funerals.
Legal action has been taken against the church in Kansas forcing them to stay at least 300 yards away from any military funeral.
Bob Hallmark reporting, firstname.lastname@example.org