Trends Off in Many Directions

July 3, 2006
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CHICAGO - Contractors who do commercial refrigeration work in restaurants, hotels, and motels know that trends in ice making, cooling, and freezing as well as servicing are ever changing.

An especially large number of those newest trends were on display at the most recent Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show of the National Restaurant Association that drew 2,100 exhibitors and some 75,000 attendees, including President Bush and national television news anchor Ted Koppel.

Some of the newest innovations include a single unit icemaker/bin dispenser, a freezer that automatically adjusts itself to ambient temperature shifts, and a brush mechanism that automatically cleans condenser coils daily.

IMI Cornelius’ beverage dispensing approach.

ICE MACHINES, BIN DISPENSERS

The DKM-500 Serenity Series ice machine from Hoshizaki (www.hoshizakiamerica.com) combines both icemaker and dispenser into a single unit. The unit is said to be 35 percent quieter, capable of producing up to 466 pounds of ice in 24 hours, dispenses 13 pounds of ice per minute and stores up to 200 pounds of ice.

The self-contained design reduces opportunities for cross-contamination and is protected by HoshiGuard antimicrobial agent within the ice making zone as well as in the push-button dispensing area, according to company officials. Servicing is done from the front by removing a single panel. A stainless steel evaporator allows for crescent cubes to be formed on both sides of the evaporator.

Manitowoc (www.manitowocice.com) used the expo to announce the launch of its SN-Series SoftCubeâ„¢ nugget ice machines. The 450 and 650 models are modular ice machines that produce chewable nugget ice while still providing maximum cooling effect. These were said to be high-volume units that are 22 inches wide.

Servend (www.manitowocbeverage.com) showed IcePicâ„¢ that offers cubed or crushed ice in one beverage dispensing unit.

Ice Butler (www.ice-butler.com) was shown at the booth of Kold-Draft (www.kold-draft.com). The unit is an ice machine capable of making up to 110 pounds of ice a day and was targeted for the residential market. The company said the technology was the same as that offered in its larger commercial equipment for restaurants, hotels and cruise lines. "The Kold-Draft system has a unique process that eliminates minerals and foreign substances before the water forms into cubes producing pure, hard ice," the company said.

IFI SpA’s rotating gelato cases include 12 trapezoid tubes.
The IceValet hotel ice cube dispenser from Scotsman (www.enodisusa.com) was noted in 22- and 30-inch widths. The smaller unit can store up to 120 pounds while the 30-inch model can hold up to 180 pounds. A removable top panel allows access for cleaning and service.

Follett (www.follettice.com) showcased its Chewblet® ice that is made with an ice-through-a-tube technology. "The ice is formed on the interior wall of a barrel shaped evaporator," company officials said.

"A rotating auger removes the ice from the evaporator wall and extrudes it through a compression nozzle to remove the unfrozen water. From the nozzle, the ice is pushed into a transport tube and distributed to a dispenser up to 20 feet or more away."

The company also reported on the Horizon 1400 Series of ice makers that produce up to 1,450 pounds of ice per day of the Chewblet ice.

Ice-O-Matic (www.enodis.com) showed what it called an ultra low profile ice dispenser. The 22-inch wide model features ‘turbo' ice dispensing of one-quarter pound of ice per second.

The Italian company Brema (www.bremaice.it) stressed aesthetics as it showed icemakers capable of producing conventional cubes, finger-like cubes and flaked ice.

Another Italian company, ITV (www.itv.es), went one step further by claiming to create icemakers that "attempt to establish the spiritual link between technological excellence and art." On the technical side, the company's Ice Queen products are flakers that produce granular ice with a vertical cylindrical evaporator and heavy-duty auger mechanism.

The Korean company Se-A E&C (www.icemaker.co.kr) showed the Jetice series of cubers. The company said it had relatively simple installation procedures.

Master-Bilt’s ColdinXC™ display freezer.

FREEZERS, COOLERS

Master-Bilt (www.master-bilt.com) debuted the ColdinXCâ„¢ display freezer which "boasts a new, sleek contoured body with a curved glass top that flows into the front of the display case," according to the company. The refrigeration system has a thermostatic flow controller (TFC) that is said to make the freezer self-adjustable to different climates.

"As ambient temperature changes, the refrigeration system automatically adjusts its output," said Bill Huffman, vice president for sales and marketing at Master-Bilt. "With TFC, users save as much as 20 percent on energy consumption. Noise and heat from the compressor are also reduced."

Carrier Commercial Refrigeration (www.carrier.com) introduced its Miracoolâ„¢ Series cooler. The product features a refrigeration system with both the condenser and compressor integrated into a removable cartridge at the bottom of the unit. It also features what the company said is a foul-resistant condenser with high energy efficiency, improved serviceability, reduced life cycle cost, and reduced noise level.

An under-the-bar cooler from Leader Refrigeration (www.leaderrefrigeration.com) comes available with wheels and is said to be a forced air self-contained system with no plumbing required. The unit runs on R-134a and has a side door to access the compressor.

Delfield (www.enodisusa.com) introduced a line of blast chillers and shock freezers ranging in capacities from five- to 40-pan units. Each model is capable of performing one of three different functions: soft chilling to 38°F for delicate food products; hard chilling to 38° for dense, large-sized foods; and shock freezing all food types to 0°. The electronic control package includes a cycle control with core probe, temperature and time display, status display, integrated on-board printer, preset programming capability of up to 99 programs, and a hot gas defrost system.

Turbo Air (www.turboairinc.com) featured reach-in refrigerators with bottom-mounted compressors and a stress on stainless steel.

Victory Refrigeration (www.victory-refrig.com) showed reach-in refrigerators and freezers that have air circulating fans and forced convection cooling coils contained in an insulated housing system separate from the product zone. All components are mounted on the top of the cabinet for service.

Insulation was the focus of attention at the booth of U.S. Cooler (www.uscooler.com). The company provides three insulation options: foamed in place polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, and extruded polystyrene. The company said "each type of insulation has its own benefit" depending on the application.

Outdoor fiberglass walk-in coolers and freezers were in the spotlight at the booth of Polar King (www.polarking.com). The contention was that the technology allows cooling and freezing to be done outdoors in a manner that was still cost-effective and energy-efficient.

Structural Concepts’ CleanSweep™ automatic condenser coil cleaner.

ON DISPLAY

Clean Sweepâ„¢ was described by Structural Concepts (www.structuralconcepts.com) as an automatic condenser coil cleaner. "An electronically controlled brush mechanism automatically cleans the condenser coil daily of dust and debris to ensure proper air ventilation and prevent performance issues resulting from restricted airflow," the company said.

A curved glass deli merchandiser from TorRey (www.tor-rey.com) had a cooling system employing a gravity coil and a hidden floor coil. The evaporator is on the top and no fans are used. There is an automatic hot gas defrost cycle.

Hussmann Specialty Products (www.hussmann.com) introduced its Q-Series High Tier European service deli refrigerated merchandiser. It is designed with modular coil refrigeration.

IMI Cornelius (www.cornelius.com) reflected a trend at the expo in which multiple liquor bottles were turned upside down on dispensing equipment that ranged from complex systems designed to automatically mix a variety of drinks to the IMI model that allows the placing of up to three popular brands. "This gets premium brands out of the cooler and onto the bar for consumers to call for their favorite brands," officials said.

In the nonalcoholic realm, the company showed the LUV, a dispenser designed to deliver juices in low-volume applications such as lodging, hospitality, healthcare and nursing homes. The unit is equipped to handle high-pulp concentrates with a mixing system that is said to deliver consistent drinks.

Manitowoc’s SN-Series SoftCube™ nugget ice machine.
Gelato cases, which have taken a high profile in recent years, got even more glamorous with circular, spinning tubs from IFI SpA (www.ifi.it). Twelve trapezoid tubs are positioned inside a round tank, rotating slowly when the display case is closed. Technical innovations were said to allow storage of ice cream with even distribution of the cold system.

Another technology getting increased attention was self-contained granite frost tops customarily used for the mixing of ice cream and toppings while customers watch. Delfield also showed its black granite top that is said to keep an even layer of frost and recovers quickly if disturbed. In this approach the granite is installed on a heavy-duty, stainless steel top with a thermal master heat transfer compound for even cooling.

On the comfort heating-cooling side, one exhibitor was Fedders Islandaire (www.islandaire.com) which showed a line of through the wall, replacement air conditioners, heat pumps, water-source heat pumps, and gas-fired heating units. One highlighted item was a packaged terminal air conditioner with natural gas heat.

Evaporator cooling even got attention on the show floor at the booth of Calcana (www.calcana.com) Officials said the mister can be effective in areas where humidity might be higher than in traditional low-humidity areas because of the intensity of the jets of moisture.

Heatcraft (www.heatcraft.com) introduced Duct Control heat exchangers designed to fit any refrigeration application, according to the company. The technology is custom-designed to improve efficiency, weight and design of a customer's product. Designs were said to be available using aluminum or copper.

Emerson (www.emersonclimate.com) highlighted a range of products and services it had for the foodservice industry including its CPC controller for reach-in coolers, freezers and self-contained display cases. Copeland Scrolls were shown for carbonated beverage and soft serve equipment. And the company profiled its aftermarket services through its technical assistance and its wholesaler network.

TOOLS, TEST INSTRUMENTS

Cooper-Atkins (www.cooper-atkins.com) showed the Coolit-Rite TTM41 cooling monitor. A built-in programmable timer tracks elapsed time while its thermometer monitors the temperature of food. A 70-decibel alarm sounds when the current temperature of the food drops below 41°F or time expires. The LCD displays the final temperature until cleared and will count up to show elapsed time since the alarm last sounded.

Fluke Corp. (www.fluke.com) offered what it called Total Temperature Solutions. That includes a noncontact infrared system featuring the Fluke FoodProâ„¢ for both hot and cold line checks.

Publication date: 07/03/2006

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