It’s no secret that the Ice Maker, also known as an Ice Machine, is one of the most vital refrigeration units to a business. However, if the ice maker is not selected carefully and with much consideration, it can quite easily become one of the most problematic units to a business.
The best way to minimise these issues is to ensure you purchase the most suitable ice machine from the start. Below are the 3 most important questions to ask yourself when purchasing an ice maker in Australia. How much ice do I need to produce and store?
1. How much ice do I need to produce and store?
Before you start searching for ice makers on sale, the first step is to determine how much ice you’ll need for any service time, particularly during peak periods. Although difficult to calculate, this number will help determine the correct storage capacity followed by the ice makers production per 24 hours.
To correctly assess the basic requirements your machine will need, please see the examples below of how two businesses, that both use 30Kg’s per day, would require different unit specifications.
- Café A uses 30Kg per day. The café is open from 7 am to 9 pm and serves a variety of different foods and drinks. They have an even usage of 10kg for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Bar B also uses 30kg per day, however, this bar is only open from 7 pm to 12 am and uses the entire 30kgs in the single 5-hour service.
At first glance, both businesses may search for a 30Kg ice machine, but this would lead to them being very short-handed.
Café A should look for a unit that has at least 10kg of storage that can refill the storage bin three times over the 14 hours they are open. This would then require a unit that produces at least 50Kg per day with 10KG storage. Bromic’s IM0050HSC-HE would be a perfect fit. It has a 17kg storage bin that would be full when they come in every morning then creating enough through the day so the bin never empties.
Bar B would need a larger binned unit such as the Bromic IM0064HSC-HE, its 20kg bin would be full when they come in for service and would refill with another 13kg during their 5-hour service, the unit would then automatically shut off when full as to not create ice when not needed.
The amount needed varies between and businesses and industries. Below is an outline an average based on our current consumers as a reference guide, however, we strongly recommend you contact us here for more information.
|Industry||Average Weight of ice usage||Bromic Recommended Product|
|Restaurant||0.68kg per person||IM0065SSC|
|Bar/Cocktail||1.4kg per person||IM0064HSC-HE|
|Cafe||0.45kg per person||IM0034HSC-HE|
|Hotel||2.7kg per bucket requested||IM0250HDM + SB178 bin|
|Fast Food Restaurant||0.235kg per 475ml drink||IM0250HDM + SB129 bin|
|Seafood/Deli Counter & Display||40kg per square m of a display at 100mm deep||IM0320FM +SB243 bin|
|Convenience Store||0.3 kg per 600ml drink||IM0250HDM + SB178 bin|
|Construction/Mine site||1.5kg per person per shift||IM0485HDM + SB406 bin|
2. What’s the best ice cube shape for your business?
Identify exactly what shape of ice cube would compliment your product range. Below are a variety of commonly used ice cube forms used by top industry performers.
Solid cube Ice Maker
This is by far the most well-known form of an ice cube. Although a common household style, this cut is ideally used for high-end spirits. As the drinks themselves have less actual liquid than most, the solid cube provides a classic design as well as one of the slowest melting times which allow for the natural flavour of the drink to be retained for as long as possible.
Hollow Ice Maker
This is a common style of ice cut that is used primarily in drinks. The cylinder hole in the ice cube allows for the drink to cool faster by maximising the surface area but also allows for more liquid to be in the cup when compared to the traditional, solid ice cube. This decreased density reduces your ice cubes per serving, helping to decrease costs of drink production per serve.
Hollow ice cubes are also a lot gentler on blender blades compared to the traditional solid cube, which is especially handy when creating smoothies or cocktails.
Half dice Ice Maker
If your business requires a high yield ice cube style for either consumption or storage, this ice cube style is the way to go. These cubes have a thin shape and generate around 160kgs – 485kgs of ice in 24 hours; perfect for restaurants, fast food and bars looking to maximise their cooling and capacity. Additional support of an ice storage bin allows you to comfortably keep up with high-production situations and bulk requirements.
Flake Ice Maker
Ice doesn’t have to be used just to keep things cold. This style of ice is cut into a smaller, malleable “flake” form, used primarily to create a dazzling effect on salad bars & seafood displays as well as for storage of delicate produce at just below freezing temperature. View
3. Where is the optimal location for the commercial ice machine?
All ice machines require sufficient ventilation, drainage and water set up to ensure correct and optimal function.
- Ventilation - As ice machines create heat as they continue to run throughout the day there needs to be a correct channel to manage the air-flow escape. Failure to do so can create an environment detrimental to the ice production and unit life span.
- Drainage – This is a huge safety consideration to make when purchasing an ice maker for your business. All commercial ice machines must have adequate access to drainage to ensure all local health codes are met and prevent bacterial build-up inside the units themselves.
- Water - A solid supply of clean water is also incredibly important. Most units will require a filter to be fitted regardless, but a clean water supply extends the life of this filter drastically. It is also worth investigating whether your current water infrastructure will be able to adequately supply a machine suited to your production goals. Failure to properly filter water can lead to scale build-up and other mineral deposit related issues.
With any ice machine or ice maker, you must ensure the product you are purchasing has the WaterMark Certification. This is a mandatory certification for drainage products to ensure they are fit for purpose and have been appropriately authorised for installation. Purchasing a product without this could lead to a breach of local standards and producing a product not fit for human consumption.
If you’re having difficulty in selecting the right commercial ice maker for you, feel free to contact our team of ice experts here that will help you understand and find the perfect ice machine that can enhance your business.