CHICAGO - The pendulum in terms of ice machines has been swinging back and forth between complex systems to pretty basic stuff. Sometimes the trend was to the complex with detailed diagnostics, and complex electricals and mechanicals to carefully monitor every kW of energy and drop of water. The swing to the basic brought fairly simple systems designed to run efficiently with as few pieces and parts as possible to avoid much of anything going wrong.
But now there is a new level of up front high tech developments to make things simpler down the line.
A couple of examples were at the recent National Restaurant Association Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show. One example involved the Indigo line of ice machines from Manitowoc. The other involved the Autodesk® Revit® Architecture building design files for Scotsman ice machine equipment.
Here’s what each company was saying about their newest approaches.
INDIGO“The Indigo uncomplicates everything about the ice making process,” said an announcement from Manitowoc. “State-of-the-art diagnostics provide constant and reliable monitoring of refrigeration systems. In turn, that information is used to improve energy management, set proper ice production levels, streamline cleaning processes, ease food safety concerns, maintain ice quality, and quickly display up-to-date service information.”
Information provided by the company and explained at the booth demonstrated the complexity of what was done at the factory to create an “uncomplicated” unit.
The “ice machine offers an internal communication system that never sleeps. Constant monitoring of electronic systems means that if issues arise they are immediately noted and can be addressed. The electronic storing and reading of data makes servicing easier and reduces labor and machine downtime. IceConnect™ USB and RS485 communication ports transmit ice production, energy usage, water usage, and service data allowing for asset management from across the room or the country.
“The easy-to-read display panel prompts for things like adding sanitizer or checking the water or air filter. Words, not codes, are displayed making communications easy to understand without referring to a manual for preventative diagnostics, operating status, and machine information. The blue backlit display is easy to read in dimly lit basements or in bright kitchen locations. The Indigo has multiple language choices.
“Having automated systems in place to initiate regular cleaning, sanitizing, and de-scaling cycles ensures that the food zone is regularly maintained.”
AUTODESKThe Autodesk® Revit® Architecture building design files for Scotsman ice machine equipment “save designers time by automatically uploading information such as dimensions and utility requirements, which previously required manual input for Revit projects. In addition, Revit software reduces costs associated with design errors by identifying possible issues immediately.”
The Revit files are for Prodigy cubers, flake and chewable nugget ice machines, bins and ice dispensers.
Said Scotsman, “Autodesk Revit Architecture building design software, created for building information modeling (BIM), generates three-dimensional models to support construction planning. Using Revit, team members can view changes to a digital model of the project in real time. As a result, designers can save time and reduce errors by identifying design inconsistencies early in the planning process.”
“The Scotsman family of Revit design files makes it easier for designers and architects to accurately integrate our equipment into BIM projects,” said Mark McClanahan, president, Scotsman Ice Systems. “This software will help designers consider all the aspects of ice machine placement including utility hookups, ventilation, and space requirements.”