Commercial ice makers are great for anything from a home business setting to a massive industrial environment. They produce clear ice, which means the water used is pure and has no impurities in it. Self-contained ice machines make ice and store it in one unit. These models can produce up to 700 pounds of ice a day, but can only store up to 300 pounds of ice at one time. Modular ice machines are larger and require an ice storage bin. Commercial ice storage bins are oftentimes refrigerated so the stored ice will not melt. Modular ice makers can produce up to 1400 pounds ice daily, and the attached ice bins can store up to 1800 pounds of ice. Additionally, there are also ice dispensers that are meant to produce large amounts of ice, and can sometimes even store the ice. These machines will also frequently dispense water too and can be found in environments like schools, hospitals and restaurants. It’s always important when making an important decision like purchasing a commercial ice machine to put in an appropriate amount of thought and research.
You can make almost any amount of ice you might need with a modular ice machine unit. These commercial-quality machines can produce massive amounts of ice in a single day. Some of them even have the ability to make upwards of 2,000 lbs of ice per day. Generally these machines are made of stainless steel in order to increase their durability and overall longevity. Just like a normal, home portable ice maker, these commercial versions can produce a number of different ice types. Flake and nugget style ice cubes are quite popular. Because these machines make so much ice a day, they require more water and energy, and are typically suited for a commercial retail or business environment. They can also require more accessories or maintenance to keep them working at their maximum potential.
For instance, since a modular machine is not stand alone and cannot store made ice by itself, it requires a commercial grade ice bin to be attached. It’s important to make sure that ice machine you pair with your storage bin doesn’t make more ice than your bin can hold. It’s also a good idea to check what type of electrical connection your modular unit needs. Large commercial ice machines might require a higher voltage than the typical 115-120 V. Frequently a great attribute of modular ice makers is that they have air-cooled condenser’s that are a part of the unit itself and don’t need to be purchased separately.
There are about as many different type of ice storage bins as there are types of modular ice machines. This makes sense because however large of a daily production output a commercial ice machine may boast, you’ll need proper storage to keep all that ice. And if you need to hold on to that ice for a while, it helps if that storage bin is refrigerated or insulated. Your ice storage bin will also need to be NSF certified or listed. This certification is provided by the Public Health and Safety Organization and is placed on a product to show that it complies with a strict and extensive set of standards. The NSF is considered to be one of the most respected independent testing organizations.
Unlike a modular ice machine which will need a large and appropriately fitted ice bin to store ice, a self-contained commercial ice unit can make and store ice without the need of an extra ice bin. While these ice machines don’t make as much ice as a typical modular unit, they still can boast impressive daily outputs. Of course just like any other commercial ice machine, self-contained units come in a lot of different ice-type varieties. From cube to half-cube to nugget type ice, self-contained units can be quite versatile. Some even have the option to switch between making different sized type ice, allowing the operator to choose between large or small cubes.
As stated earlier, self-contained ice makers can come in a lot of output varieties. Some are meant to fit undercounter and are ADA certified, meaning they come in at height under 34 inches. This makes them especially useful for hospitals or retirement homes due to their ease of access. Since a self-contained ice machine doesn’t have a lot of extra pieces and peripheral parts, it’s often easier to install and also maintain throughout the years.
Ice dispensers are popular in the commercial ice world. You see these types of machines in hospitals, schools, restaurants, and pretty much just about any other building that serves fountain-type drinks. Ice dispensers are fairly interesting because they often have a lot of other attributes. For instance, often time’s ice dispensers are also essentially ice storage. Ice dispensers can be standalone or modular, but regardless of their type, they generally work the same way. Ice is produced, stored in a component or bin and then dispensed when a customer or user wants ice. It’s not uncommon for these types of units to also dispense water or other types of beverages.
A different type of ice storage type is a commercial ice merchandiser. Though this ice-themed unit doesn’t make ice, it’s used to store and display large amounts of ice, usually in bags. These units have to keep ice properly frozen and display them in an appealing manner for potential customers. Of course, sometimes these merchandisers have solid doors too. These ice merchandisers will generally be placed outside where is could potentially by sunny and hotter. The solid doors help keep out sunlight and heat from working against the merchandiser’s refrigeration.
Check out some of the dependable commercial ice products on Ice Maker Direct. We carry products from the world's leading brands in commercial ice machines, including Scotsman, Ice-O-Matic, Manitowoc, and Hoshizaki. With a little bit of research, it can really pay-off to be a well-informed shopper!