Ice machines, reach-ins, and walk-ins seem to target a variety of audiences. In health care and institutional facilities as well as restaurant kitchens, they are seemingly just functional and no-frills, but they have to hold proper temperature, be energy efficient, and prove durable. Take the same type of equipment and put it in the front area of a restaurant, at a convenience store, or in a hotel hallway — and to that same functionality, efficiency, and durability must also be added a touch of pizzazz for impulse buying.

The most recent Food Marketing Institute Expo in Dallas and National Restaurant Association Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago brought out the very latest in ice-making equipment, storage bins, and walk-in freezers and coolers as well as reach-in versions. This roundup of the latest in equipment is culled from both shows.

With the food service industry reliant on carbonation for so many aspects of drinks, an exhibit from Airgas National Carbonation™ ( drew attention to its delivery and services related to supplying CO2.

American Panel ( introduced foamed-in-place walk-in coolers, freezers, and insulated buildings. According to the company, the process involves an automated and computer-controlled system based on high-pressure impingement mixing (HPIM) technology.

Anthony ( called its retrofit door for refrigeration the “iDoor” because it contains an LCD panel with a self-contained media player and wireless connectivity, so shoppers can view weather, sports, and promotions while selecting products in the cooler.

ATC ( showed its impulse coolers, which are usually plug-and-run units placed near a check-out line. They have top-mounted, fan-cooled refrigeration systems and adjustable thermostats, as well as a door lock.

Bally ( displayed information on walk-in coolers, freezers, and refrigerated warehouses as well as its BQ condensing unit. The latter has a reduction in refrigerant charge due to no flooding valve, the company said. The unit also uses EC motors as standard.

Beverage-Air ( has a number of new products, including the MarketMax™ dual-temp merchandiser that operates as both a freezer and refrigerator in the same cabinet. Individual electronic controls for the freezer and refrigerator sections give temperature control for each section. Also featured was a back-bar refrigerator and a back-bar pass through.

Continental Refrigerator ( highlighted a system designed to be fully removable for ease of access in the field. Condensate water goes into a drain pan constructed with corrosion-resistant 304 Series stainless steel, which can be removed for cleaning. The condensate is then evaporated by a nonelectric, corrosion-resistant 304 Series stainless steel hot gas discharge condensate loop. There are also top and side air distribution ducts.

Component Design Northwest ( had an NSF-certified thermometer and hygrometer for large refrigerators/freezers. The company said it “allows for precise monitoring of temperatures and humidity in critical food-related locations.”

Energy efficiency was promoted by Delfield ( with its 6000XL™ reach-in refrigeration doors. They have edge mount hinges, a heavy-duty locking system, and quick-grip long-length vertical handles. The company said 6000XL units deliver low energy consumption with many meeting CEE Tier II guidelines; almost all models are EnergyStar 2.0 listed. “The 6000XL Series reach-ins are designed to help the foodservice operator lower energy costs, lower maintenance cost, and lower labor costs while producing fresh, safe food,” said Bill Keske, vice president of marketing. “The added enhancements just introduced provide unsurpassed value for the operator.”

The theme at the booth of Follett ( at the NRA show was “Catch the Ride” to promote RIDE™, which stands for remote ice delivery equipment. The ice-through-tube technology allows a Follett Chewblet® ice machine to be placed up to 75 feet away from a beverage dispenser or ice storage bin and still automatically deliver ice to the dispenser or bin.

Ice-O-Matic ( had information on the Franke ice sanitation technology, which is a device that attaches to the incoming water line, generating dissolved ozone. Ice is then made from the ozone-treated water, which sanitizes surfaces in the ice machine, bin, and related utensils.

The ice cube maker IceTro ( uses an air-cooled condenser and front side in and out air ventilation.

International Cold Storage ( promoted an “Extreme Makeover Walk-in Edition” theme, in which the company promoted the refurbishment of old walk-ins that included the replacement of older refrigeration systems with more modern, high-efficiency ones. The company also noted it can re-skin interior and exterior walls, and resurface floors.

Kloppenberg ( had ice bins primarily for large-capacity ice handling.

Kold-Draft ( focused on its T270 ice crusher, which it said creates a more pure, clear, and solid ice. The process starts with hard, dense cubes that are then crushed.

Kolpak ( showed Air Shield strip curtains designed to mount vertically on the interior wall surface of a walk-in on the hinge side of the door. According to the company, Air Shield features an air delivery system that channels a barrier of refrigerated air, which flows horizontally across the interior side of the door opening. It is designed to activate when the door is opened and shut off when the door closes. By design, the Air Shield is in play whenever the walk-in door is opened, reducing the amount of warm air infiltration into the refrigerated space.

The company also announced the Arctic Fox™ controller, custom designed for use with Kolpak walk-in coolers and freezers. The controller consists of smart relay boards pre-mounted and wired on the evaporator, connected to a user interface display board via CAT5. The controller provides energy efficiency through the use of electronic expansion valves and true demand-defrost technology.

Manitowoc Ice ( had a number of new products, including the RF0644 flake ice machine for ice production and ice storage in one stand-alone cabinet. The company said it was designed for mid-range flake ice production where space for a modular ice machine and bin is limited. The new RF0644 rounds out the assortment of self-contained flake ice machine options from Manitowoc. This new model measures 46.0 inches high and 29.2 inches wide by 26.7 inches deep and offers 121 pounds of ice storage. The company focuses on water-to-ice ratio by preventing the ice flakes from clinging to the items they cool, and the additional surface area keeps the item colder, longer.

Also discussed was the RNS Series ice machine that produces a small bite-size nugget in a variety of shapes and sizes approximately 3/8- to ½-inch wide and 3/8- to ½-inch long with some larger and some smaller pieces mixed in. Manitowoc Ice also said it will offer two new nugget models in the Countertop Nugget product grouping. The RNS12 and RNS20 ice and water dispensers will feature the new bite-size nugget and improved ice-to-water ratios. These machines also feature a DuraTech™ front panel for cleaning and reduced hard water staining in the dispense area. And the company showed Q Undercounters now available in a regular cube size measuring 1 1/8 by 1 1/8 by 7/8 inches. This cube has very little water content to keep beverages colder longer without diluting, the company said. The machine is designed to fit under the bar.

Master-Bilt ( introduced bar equipment, including direct draw coolers, deep well bottle coolers, and back-bar refrigerators to its Fusion line. The line featured a forced-air refrigeration system with corrosion-resistant evaporator coils and standard condensate evaporators. All models feature stainless steel tops; a black vinyl coated steel finish on front, sides, and back; and a galvanized interior. Back bar refrigerators and direct draw coolers also have a stainless steel floor. A slide-out condensing unit behind the front grille allows for cleaning and service.

Metalfrio ( showed a line of beverage coolers that have an energy-saving light sensor that detects ambient light. The sensor automatically shuts off both external and internal cooler lights after 20 minutes of darkness and places the unit in a hibernation mode.

PreGel America ( showed a line of colorful frozen concoctions that are created with a frozen pop mold through use of a blast freezer, and set for display in a reach-in freezer.

Scotsman Ice Systems ( introduced the Prodigy® Advanced Sustainability™ family of ice machines with ice-level management, which optimizes ice production. “Prodigy Advanced Sustainability ice machines offer increased production, reduced utility costs for operators, while at the same time increasing reliability,” said Terry Toth, marketing communications manager.

“Features that were previously optional are now integrated on all Prodigy Advanced Sustainability ice machine models.” The Prodigy advanced network control system provides information about the machine’s performance history to maximize operational uptime. In addition, operators are able to monitor multiple machines remotely. Ice-level management uses ultrasonic ice-level sensors.

A recent marketing/retail development impacting those who service refrigeration equipment is the influx of self-service yogurt stores in which customers have an option of up to a dozen different frozen yogurts that they self-dispense and then add toppings. The NRA show included a number of companies selling the equipment that can be used in such stores and companies such as Sentaur ( that provide store design, fixture construction, and start-up.

Servend ( had the MDH-402 dual selectable ice/beverage dispenser with up to 20 beverage selections as well as two ice options — cubed or crushed from either of two dispense points. The technology uses Servend’s Icepic® technology, a built-in ice crusher, dispensing either cubed or crushed ice from a single ice maker/ice dispenser combination. Cubed ice is crushed on demand at either of the MDH-402 Dual Selectable’s two dispense points. The company said the crushed and cubed ice options offer increased beverage cooling efficiency and lower water contents.

Entering the market of soft-serve freezers was Spaceman USA ( with the company promoting “quality, dependable, value-priced machines.”

Stoelting ( had a countertop batch freezer that had a “vertically-oriented freezing cylinder to provide high capacity and maintain energy efficiency. A clear acrylic freezing cylinder cover allows monitoring of product while freezing.”

A chiller from TempStations ( is used to transfer a thermal mix solution through modules and lines to maintain freezing temperatures at connected components such as trays and bowls, allowing products such as deli meats, sushi, fruit, pastas, and salads to be kept in those holding places without having to put the foods directly on flaked ice.

ThermalRite™ ( focused on a theme of “embracing corporate responsibility today for a sustainable future” with walk-ins that have refrigeration systems with EC motors and LED lighting as well as the use of HFC-based blowing agents rather than those based on HCFCs.

Tor-Rey ( included coolers and freezers in its refrigeration line. The freezers used a forced air cascade system for uniform temperature through the product load.

Traulsen ( has introduced a blast chiller featuring Epicon visual interface, a touch-screen remote panel. “Our customers asked us to make a blast chiller that was easier to use,” said John Davis, director of marketing. “The Epicon Visual Interface fulfills that request. Whether it’s the chef setting the menu or the operator recalling saved instructions, an intuitive guided menu feature makes it simple.” The interface allows the creation and management of custom food chilling programs.

The Ultraspec™ series of coolers from Victory ( featured V-Temp™ electronic controls. For example, in the supercool mode, there is a constant-on refrigeration condition for when food has just been loaded into a refrigerator and needs to be quickly brought back down to a safe temperature.

Publication date: 7/2/2012