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

Manufacturer overview: Kold-Draft

From time to time I’ll provide information about the various manufacturers we represent. These brief overviews are intended to shed light on the different strengths of each one.

 

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.

 

For more information: www.kold-draft.com

 

Restaurant Supply: Different Types of Ice

Restaurant Supply:  There are two types of commercial ice makers, flakers and cubers, and they make ice very differently.

Restaurant Supply: Flaker Commercial Ice Makers

Flakers make two varieties: flake or snowflake, and soft, chewable nugget ice like at Sonic. Flaker and nugget ice machines cost more on the front end, but you get high production. Flakers are always making ice; there’s no downtime for harvesting. In the drum is a stainless steel freezing core with water flowing down and creating ice in the drum. An augur turns around inside the drum and shaves the ice off the sides of the drum.

For nugget ice, the compressed flaked ice comes up the drum with the augur rotation, and an extruder (like a knife) cuts off the ice. Flaked ice is used for produce, displaying fish, packing meat, and shipping food. The biggest disadvantage of a flaker is its high water content, which melts quickly and dilutes drinks.

If a flaker is in high production, the bearings will go out. This is true for all manufacturer’s flaker machines. You’ll start getting grease and metal flakes from the sides of the evaporator in the ice. The cost to repair top and bottom bearings is a minimum $700-$1,100. The cost is higher if you don’t catch it early. Flaker machines typically carry a two year warranty.

 

Restaurant Supply: Cuber Ice Makers

Cuber ice machines come with three years’ warranty, with five years on the compressor and condenser.

The variety of shapes/sizes are full cube, half cube, alpha cube, gala cube, full dice cube, and half dice cube. For soft drinks best performer is a half-dice cube. High end beverages, such as expensive cocktails do best with the largest cube possible because of slower melting times.

 

The ice forms on the evaporator – either horizontal or vertical (most common). Water flows down into the evaporator, forms into cells, and when it freezes, cubes drop. When the machine harvests ice (drops the frozen cubes), it essentially stops producing for 5-6 minutes.

 

Cubers are reliable. When you keep them maintained every six months, the machine will last 10 years or more. Remember that the life of the ice machine largely depends on where you place it. An air-cooled machine needs a more open environment (not a corner). Hot environments are also very hard on ice machines. When you buy a new ice machine, the production estimates are based on 70 degree rooms. In a hotter environment, you won’t get the estimated production levels. Call Ice & Refrigeration Systems at 817-888-3056 for more information.
 

Restaurant Supply

Manitowoc Ice: A Manufacturer Overview

Here’s another manufacturer overview that can help you understand the strengths and differences between the manufacturers of ice making machines.

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.

For more information: www.manitowocice.com