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A Guide to the Latest Ice Machines

What is an ice machine?

An ice machine is a piece of restaurant equipment designed to dispense different types of ice. The machines are popular because restaurant operators look to reduce the time and cost of producing quality iced products.

How does an ice machine work?

An ice machine works by using refrigerant gas which is pushed through the system by the compressor. When the machine is switched on, the compressor increases the pressure of the refrigerant which impacts temperature. As the pressurized refrigerant goes through the narrow tubes within the system it loses heat and is condensed. The fluid passes through an expansion valve and is turned into a gas. This process creates energy in the form of heat through the copper pipes and from the air and this heat is then pulled from the pipes and the water flowing over the evaporator begins to freeze.

Once the ice cubes have formed, the evaporator sensor triggers a valve, which then tells the compressor to stop forcing heated gas into the condenser and redirect the heated gas into a bypass valve. Through the bypass valve, the hot gas cycles through the evaporator quickly, thereby heating up the ice from the interior tray that then falls into the ice bin below, where it can be selected by hand or dispensed automatically into a cup.

What are the ice machine safety features?

Most ice machines have a number of safety features, including shut-off valves to prevent the machine overheating and a safety guard to prevent access to the interior of the unit while ice is being made. This ensures that kitchen teams can safely use the unit without fearing injury or the potential for fire hazards.

Light vs heavy-duty ice machines

When you’re choosing an ice machine for your facility, you’ll likely have to choose between light-duty and heavy-duty ice machines. Making the selection can help you to ensure the optimal performance of your equipment. Our team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies are experts in the equipment marketplace, and we offer both light-duty and heavy-duty models. Let’s review some of the differences between the two options:

One of the leading differences between the two types of systems is the amount of ice each unit can produce on a daily basis. Light-duty ice machines might be able to produce up to 30kg of ice per day, while heavy-duty models can products 100s of kilograms of ice per day. Heavy-duty models are suited to environments in which ice is required throughout the working day. For example, you might require a heavy-duty unit in a bar in a busy downtown location. Whereas the average smaller restaurant can use a light-duty ice machine to produce enough ice to meet their needs around the clock.

Before choosing between heavy-duty and light-duty ice machines, it’s imperative you consider the following questions:
• How much ice does your restaurant produce on a daily basis?
• Do you have an existing unit that can cover some of the demand?
• Are you expecting demand to rise with new menu items in the future?

Make sure that you consult closely with our equipment experts at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies before choosing your ideal ice machine, as the right unit can help to enhance the speed and productivity of your operations.

Ideal Ice Machine Placement

One important consideration when selecting ice machines is choosing the placement of the machine within your restaurant. Because of the associated noise each of the machines can produce, it’s often important to keep the system away from heavy-traffic areas of the business or areas in which diners are enjoying their meals peacefully. The back of the kitchen is often a great choice for placement of ice machines because this is the area in which most of the noise is already produced, with microwaves and ovens already placed in this location.

Make sure that you consult with your kitchen team regarding ice machine placement, as they have a better idea about the types of challenges they would face if the machine wasn’t placed in the right location. Another consideration when evaluating ice machine placement is the ability of your staff to transport drinks with ice to tables. If you’re a restaurant that has a busy bar area, for example, you might wish to install the ice machine in an area that protects patrons from the noise while allowing bar staff quick access to make drinks. Try to balance the convenience of your working team with the ambient noise considerations of patrons when choosing machine placement.

Styles and Capacities

In choosing your ice machine, you might also consider the optimal style of machine for your restaurant space. This is another factor that will influence the location of the machine. There are three specific styles that are common:

  • Modular ice machines

Modular ice machines are designed to produce large amounts of ice on a regular basis within the restaurant space. They should be used with a separate unit that can store and dispense the ice. Outputs from modular ice machines can range up to 800lbs of ice per day.

  • Undercounter ice machines

Undercounter ice machines are the ideal choice within cafes and small restaurants. They’re designed to combine an ice machine with a small storage bin and will fit under most counters. This is the middle ground in terms of capacity, and undercounter machines generally produce up to 350lbs of ice per day. 

  • Countertop ice dispensers

As one of the smaller ice-machine options, countertop ice dispensers are designed to produce about 200lbs of ice per day, with higher-capacity models producing more depending on performance requirements. Countertop ice dispensers are a great option for smaller sandwich shops and cafes producing a small number of drinks on a daily basis.

Ice shape

When choosing ice machines, another element to review is the shape of the ice the machine produces. This can often have a significant impact on the type of product you create. For example, there are ice machines that produce the following:

• The classic full-cube for mixed drinks
• Ice shavings for product presentation and preservation
• Cubelets for blended drinks
• Top-hat-style cubes for drinks at higher-end establishments

Ensure that you consult with our team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies to learn more about the machines within our selection and the types of ice our machines produce.

A guide to the Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies collection

Our trusted team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies has put together a comprehensive selection of ice machines for your review. We work with the best in the industry to ensure that their high-value systems are added to our catalogue, and this results in a selection that combines the very best in the industry today.

Our selection includes options such as the 40-kg/88-lbs Capacity Ice Maker, which is designed to be easy to install within the modern kitchen and features an energy-efficient design that will help you cut down on electricity bills. Another advantage of the 40-kg/88-lbs Capacity Ice Maker is its condensed size, which makes the ideal option for smaller restaurants and cafes. The machine will produce up-to 265lbs of ice per day for your business.

Another of the leading models in our selection is the KM-515MAH, which is capable of producing up-to 527lbs of crescent-cubed ice every day and is protected by H-Guard with an anti-microbial agent to assure even greater performance safety. The KM-515MAH is also designed with removable air filters to help ensure that maintenance for the system is simple and easy for kitchen users. It’s just one example of the many leading ice machines now available through our team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies.

Turn to Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies for the latest machines

The experienced team at Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies is committed to providing you direct information about the latest ice machines within the food services equipment field. When you call us, you’ll immediately be placed into contact with an equipment expert that understands the challenges within the industry and can offer clear solutions. Clients also turn to Zanduco because they know we can help them consolidate the cost of their equipment investment while providing them the best value for their money.

To learn more about our company and the ice machines within our catalogue, please contact our experts today.