Commercial Ice Machines: Different Types & How to Choose One

One of the first decisions you make when purchasing or leasing commercial ice machines are the type of cooling feature. Below is a description of the type of cooling and advantages of types of ice machines: air-cooled, liquid-cooled, and remote-cooled.

Air-cooled Commercial Ice Machines

Air-cooled ice makers have a fan on the inside that takes air and blows it across the condenser. In essence, the ambient air, or surrounding air around the ice maker, cools the ice maker. Hot air blows out the other side of the condenser, so heat is pulled away from the machine. To understand the capacity of an air-cooled ice maker, know that ice pounds per hour are measured in a 70 degree room, compared to a more typical 85 degree kitchen. So, if your kitchen area is 85 degrees, you’ll get about 85% of the stated production capacity. Despite the heat emission, air-cooled are the most popular ice makers.

Liquid-cooled commercial ice machines

Liquid-cooled are best when the ice maker is located in a warm temperature area, such as over 90 degrees. To cool the ice, a stream of water goes over the refrigerant and extracts out the heat. The downside of a liquid-cooled machine is that your water bills will inevitably increase. These machines are not recommended for high-drought areas.

Remote-cooled commercial ice machines

A remote-cooled ice machine puts a condenser on the roof of your building. Advantages of remote-cooled are that hot air doesn’t blow into the kitchen (like an air-cooled machine), and the machine doesn’t require extra water (like liquid-cooled). Remote-cooled ice makers will need electricity to the roof, and you need to purchase an additional condenser, so installation costs increase. Remote-cooled ice makers are especially good when you have a need for a large quantity of ice.

Ice & Refrigeration Systems is an experienced and knowledgeable resource for choosing the commercial ice maker to fit the needs of your restaurant, church or office. For more information, visit: www.letsmakeice.com

Kold-Draft Commercial Ice Machines

Kold Draft commercial ice machines are known for high quality ice. The first difference that you’ll notice when you look at Kold Draft commercial machines is that it has a horizontal evaporator. All other commercial ice machines have vertical evaporators. Having a horizontal evaporator means that ice is dropped down in individual ice cubes, not sheets. This type of ice-making is especially good for bagging ice because it reduces the ‘clusters’ of ice that band together when dropping from a vertical sheet.

Horizontal evaporators use gravity and give the lightest, cleanest ice possible because the cleanest molecules make ice first. Very clean, pure ice also melts slower than other cubes. Drinks are less diluted because the ice is slower to melt.

Kold-Draft, a maker of commercial ice makers and commercial ice machines since 1955, is best known for their large-cubed ice. Measuring 1 ¼ x 1 ¼ x 1 ¼ inches, the large cubes have a slower melt time than smaller ice. Half-cubes are also available from the same machines and are easier for some customers to handle.

Another distinguishing feature of Kold-Draft machines is the gravity-assisted horizontal ice making system. A horizontal evaporator reduces the need for water filtration equipment or a self-cleaning system and naturally eliminates impurities that can form in a vertical system. Cleaner ice means that the taste of the drink isn’t distorted by the water from the ice.

Kold-Draft has a reputation for long-lasting ice machines capable of producing from 300 to 2,400 pounds of ice per day. Many customers own their machines from 15 to 30 years. And, they offer a five-year warranty that includes parts and labor – the longest warranty in the industry. All ice makers meet the energy-efficiency standards set by the California Energy Commission’s 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

Kold-Draft’s primary customer markets are the restaurant, hotel, schools/institution and cruise line industry. A new product expands Kold-Draft into the grocery, convenience store and warehouse club market – the In-Store Bagging Ice Bagging System.

Benefits of Kold Draft Commercial Ice Machines

Kold Draft offers two sizes of cubes, a full cube and a half cube. The full cubes are large, about an inch in diameter, and they’re very popular in high-end cocktails. Half cubes are often used as ice in soft drinks, and for bagging. Slow melting, pure ice produces the highest quality bagged ice because it has less tendency to stick together in the bag. For more information about Kold Draft commercial ice makers, call Ice & Refrigeration Systems at 817-888-3056 or visit us at www.letsmakeice.com.

commercial ice machines

Commercial Ice Maker – Maintenance In Fort Worth

You hope and pray that your commercial ice maker won’t break – especially on a 105 degree day in Ft. Worth. And whether it’s the dog days of summer or the dead of winter, when you need service for a commercial ice maker, you need it right away, done correctly the first time to get you back to business. Here are some of the ways to ensure that you get the service you want, correctly performed, at the right price:

  1. Check references – Be prepared ahead of time so that you have a number to call when you need service. Get references for several companies so that you’ll know the timing and pricing differences ahead of time. Talk with customers of the service company and you’ll likely narrow your list.
  2. Look at the type of work the companies perform – You want a company that specializes in service for commercial ice makers. A general repair shop won’t likely cut it for the special repair needs of your commercial ice maker.
  3. Ask about longevity –  Companies who have been around for a while have seen a lot of different situations. You benefit from other Fort Worth restaurant experiences when you service your commercial ice maker with a professional.
  4. Go local – A local service company for commercial ice makers is often more concerned about reputation for good work. They depend on repeat business and referrals to grow, so want every customer to be happy.

We offer quick turn-around for appointments and have highly-trained service personnel to service commercial ice makers in Fort Worth and surrounding areas.

Ice & Refrigeration Systems has been in Fort Worth for over eight years.We also sell and lease commercial ice makers and other types of commercial kitchen equipment. Call and talk with us about your machine. We can tell you how to take care of your ice machine to avoid a service call, and we’re here when you need us summer or winter. If you ever need extra ice, come by our office at 2557 E. Loop 820 N, Fort Worth, TX for up to 500 free pounds of ice. Just bring your own container. Call Ice & Refrigeration Systems at 817-888-3056.

 

Commercial Ice Machines: Features & Benefits of Manitowoc

Manitowoc is the #1 selling commercial ice machines in the country. They have a strong service network, and ice machine parts are always readily available. With a wide variety of ice machines, Manitowoc sets the Industry standard. One of their newer series of machines is the Indigo series. Indigo ice makers by Manitowoc are programmable for the days that you want to make ice, and the time of day. So, if you need heavier production on the weekend, you can schedule ice production timing to meet your needs. And, the ice machine talks to you to warn you of issues.

Indigo ice makers from Manitowoc are easy to clean. All you need to do is put the machine in clean mode and pour in the cleaner. The machine does everything itself, running the cleaner for the proper amount of time and then thoroughly rinsing to be ready to use.

Problems With Commercial Ice Machines?

Problems with commercial ice machines are often caused by mold in the unit. If you work in a moist environment or have an environment where yeast is used, such as a bakery, brewery, or pizza kitchen, there is a greater propensity for mold. With Manitowoc ice makers, the air cooler is sealed off from the ice making compartment. Such a ‘firewall’ of protection to the evaporator greatly reduces the incidence of mold in the machine.

History of Manitowoc

Manitowoc Ice is named after its home city in Wisconsin where they manufacture a wide variety of ice machines and related equipment. Manitowoc prides itself on innovation and anticipating the needs of customers. From flaked, crushed and nugget ice to tubular nugget, regular, dice and half dice cubes, Manitowoc offers machines that include from 73% to up to 100% ice to water ratios. They also offer a machine for smaller production gourmet needs: an octagonal cube for premium beverages.

Since its founding in 1964, Manitowoc Ice has focused on reducing costs and meeting sanitary demands to ensure food safety. A new series of machines, the Indigo, includes a constant and reliable monitoring device that helps customers improve energy management, set production levels, and stay on top of cleaning processes and ice quality. The machines also display service information to remind customers of timely service needs. Another new product, Quadzilla â„¢, produces large quantities of ice in a relatively small 48 inch wide machine.

Due to their commitment to energy efficiency, Manitowoc Foodservice has been an ENERGY STAR partner since 2001.

“Currently participating in seven ENERGY STAR categories, including dishwashers, fryers, ice machines, refrigerators, freezers, steam cookers, griddles, and ovens, Manitowoc Foodservice has increased its ENERGY STAR qualified portfolio by approximately 954 models in 2011 – an increase of over 636%. The introduction of Manitowoc Indigo-series ice machines helped to add to the most number of qualified energy efficient ice machine models in their category and the Jackson CREW® (Clean Reliable Eco-Friendly Warewashing) conveyor dishwasher providing substantial energy-saving features to the end-user.”

Manitowoc’s over 200 models of ice machines are capable of producing from 65 to 3,380 pounds of ice per day. All machines use environmentally friendly non-CFC refrigerants. Other ice-related products include ice storage bins, floor standing ice dispensers, ice machine accessories and sanitizing items.

If you have a tendency for mold, you can also get an add-on feature to make sure that mold does not become a problem and ruin your ice machine. Illumine-ice is an ultraviolet light that you install in the ice machine to kill mold without any use of chemicals. For more information about Manitowoc ice machine features, financing and warranties, call 817-888-3056.

Restaurant Equipment San Antonio

It takes a lot of equipment to get and keep a restaurant in business. And, if you’ve been in business for a while, you know that restaurant equipment needs replacing to stay efficient. San Antonio restaurants have a resource that can provide restaurant equipment at the best prices with free delivery: Ice & Refrigeration Systems. Our name only tells part of the story.

Because we work with all of the major manufacturers, we have access to all of the types of restaurant equipment you need:

There’s more, too, such as all of the prep tables you need for sandwiches, salads, pizza and more. But knowing the list of what you need is only the start of the process. Representatives who have experience and knowledge can work with you and your budget to get the best combination of equipment that meets your need for driving sales per head. Ice & Refrigeration Systems makes your job easy when buying or leasing restaurant equipment. We have relationships with a long list of high-quality manufacturers that fit any budget. Here’s a partial list of manufacturers of restaurant equipment we work with: Kold Draft, Hoshizaki, Manitowoc, Scotsman, Silver King, Univex, Moyer Diebel, Atlas Metal, Focus, and Arctic.

We’ll talk with you about the pros and cons of purchasing or leasing your San Antonio restaurant equipment to help you make the best decision for your situation. And, delivery is always free. Call Ice & Refrigeration Systems at 817-888-3056.

Selecting A Quality Commercial Ice Machine

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When researching commercial ice machines, it may become a decision that you’ll live with for up to 10 or more years. So, when you consider which one is best for your business or organization, be sure to compare the fine print.

Air-cooled Commercial Ice Machines

Air-cooled ice makers have a fan on the inside that takes air and blows it across the condenser. In essence, the ambient air, or surrounding air around the ice maker, cools the ice maker. Hot air blows out the other side of the condenser, so heat is pulled away from the machine. To understand the capacity of an air-cooled ice maker, know that ice pounds per hour are measured in a 70 degree room, compared to a more typical 85 degree kitchen. So, if your kitchen area is 85 degrees, you’ll get about 85% of the stated production capacity. Despite the heat emission, air-cooled are the most popular ice makers.

Liquid-cooled commercial ice machines

Liquid-cooled are best when the ice maker is located in a warm temperature area, such as over 90 degrees. To cool the ice, a stream of water goes over the refrigerant and extracts out the heat. The downside of a liquid-cooled machine is that your water bills will inevitably increase. These machines are not recommended for high-drought areas.

Remote-cooled commercial ice machines

A remote-cooled ice machine puts a condenser on the roof of your building. Advantages of remote-cooled are that hot air doesn’t blow into the kitchen (like an air-cooled machine), and the machine doesn’t require extra water (like liquid-cooled). Remote-cooled ice makers will need electricity to the roof, and you need to purchase an additional condenser, so installation costs increase. Remote-cooled ice makers are especially good when you have a need for a large quantity of ice.

 

Below is our list of considerations when reviewing commercial ice machines:

  • Warranty – Kold-Draft offers a generous five-year warranty on parts and labor for all of their commercial ice machines, ice bins, ice crushers and ice dispensers.
  • Water-filter – Sometimes adding a water filter will extend the warranty on parts such as an evaporator.
  • Energy-efficiency – Compare the energy efficiency of various machines to help you make a decision that has impact beyond the cost of the ice maker itself.
  • Water-level controls – Find out how the ice is harvested to compare water needs that can make a significant difference in your water bill.
  • Manufacturer support – Some manufacturers offer online training – a benefit that is helpful when you have turnover of personnel that are responsible for the ice machine.
  • Ice storage – Balancing peak demands with everyday needs can be challenging. You need the ice, but don’t want a larger machine than is feasible for your business. Consider calculating one or more ice storage bins to handle high-volume times.
  • Finance options – Consider term of financing, interest rate, and depreciation for taxes. Remember that a purchase in 2012 is likely to qualify for a 50% deduction due to the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
  • Tax advantages for purchasing a new commercial ice machine –For ice makers purchased in 2012, the IRS will approve a 50% depreciation bonus, compared to the typical seven-year depreciation schedule. Ice makers must be new and used in your business for a year or more to qualify.
  • Maintenance and repair bills – Take a look at your history with your current ice maker. How long have you had it? How much do you spend on maintenance and repair each year? Does the repair time equate to downtime and unhappy customers or employees? And, the cost of replacing some parts may make it more advantageous to get a new machine.
  • Menu items or preferences that require ice – Make sure that your commercial ice maker keeps up the volume required by changing customer desires. When estimating number of pounds of ice needed per person, the quantity may be greater than you think. Look at a chart to determine the amount you currently need. You may also want to think about adding ice storage or ice bins.

Never forget that ‘the devil is in the details’ – and that holds true for selecting an ice machine. You will have many choices. Even narrowing the decision field with type of ice or volume needed will leave you with many options of manufacturers. Taking a hard look at the details that seem less significant can result in worthwhile savings over the life of  all your commercial ice machines.

Ice & Refrigeration Systems is an experienced and knowledgeable resource for choosing the commercial ice maker to fit the needs of your restaurant, church or office. For more information, call us at 817-888-3056.