Everpure billed its MRS Series Combi-System as a combination of “multiple functions into one all-inclusive system that offers flexible installation, efficient operation, easy cartridge replacement and more.”
CHICAGO - Quiet machines and clean water were recurring themes in ice-making products shown at the recent National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Supermarket Industry Convention and Educational Exposition, both held here within a few weeks of each other.

Manufacturers are making units quieter by using a few different methods, including positioning condensing units at remote locations. Cleanliness is improved by means of filtration and sanitation innovations.

At the NRA show, Hoshizaki America Inc. (www.hoshizakiamerica.com) launched its Serenity Series cube and cubelet ice machines that feature condensing units stationed up to 50 feet away from kitchen and customer areas, producing less heat and less noise near the icemaker. In its initial offering, the cuber produces up to 1,300 pounds of ice per 24 hours, and the cubelet, up to 1,000 pounds of ice. The company is planning to expand the line.

Serenity crescent cube ice machines were designed so that cubes form on both sides of the stainless steel evaporator. The EverCheck® alert system sounds an audible warning when the machine needs service. The CycleSaver® allows the cuber to produce the same quantity of ice in about half the cycles of the other ice machines, according to the company.

The cubelet ice machine is formatted for a shallow depth providing better access to the dispenser bin. A pumpdown cycle allows for a more efficient start-up, the company said. Servicers can access the machine from the front or back.

The Ice-O-Matic Model 1506 is designed for the beverage dispenser market.
Also new from the company was an air-cooled ice and water dispenser that was billed as a hands-free operational unit producing up to 288 pounds of ice in 24 hours.

According to the company, the self-contained design reduces opportunities for cross contamination and a CleanCycle12â„¢ is said to perform a 15-minute flush every 12 hours. The Model DCM 270BAH-OS features a stainless steel exterior, removable air filters and separate water and ice dispensing. The dispenser produces dry, chewable cubelet ice. The model is the newest in the Opti-Serve series.

Howe (www.howecorp.com) showcased its flaked ice technology at the FMI expo. The company's compressed flake ice technology uses an open-style evaporator that harvests by gravity to reduce high-bearing loads. The company said the ice comes out 100-percent dry and subcooled, with over four times more surface area than other compressed flake ice machines produce.

Howe said its remote low-side ice machine was specifically developed for supermarket and central refrigeration systems: "Our approach allows supermarkets to take full advantage of their larger economies of scale, by connecting to significantly more energy-efficient racks."

The company also displayed a salt-dosing system that "automatically feeds the regulated amount of saline solution for optimal ice harvesting and production," the company said.

The company said the salt-dosing system incorporates a secondary sump; an internal timer determines when salt pellets are automatically added to the sump. The timer also operates a solenoid valve. When the timer initiates the solenoid valve, water is added to the sump. As water is added, the saline water level rises and drips into the normal water sump, where it is mixed with the fresh water.

Cubelet ice technology from Hoshizaki includes machines with remote condensers.

Water Quality

Ice-O-Matic (www.iceomatic.com) focused on the water quality issue. Company President Chris Karssiens said, "Food safety is the No. 1 concern of restaurant management." He noted that the company is offering a silver-based antimicrobial in its cube ice machines.

The company showed two new cubers. The Undercounter 220 produces 220 pounds of ice in 24 hours when using a water condenser (175 pounds using an air condenser), according to the company.

"We feel that this product fills a niche in the undercounter 200-pound class of machines by maximizing ice production in a minimum amount of space," said Keith Kelly, vice president of marketing and sales.

The other new cuber is the Model 1506 designed for the beverage dispenser market. "The problem has been to find a 30-inch-wide cube ice maker to fit on top of a beverage dispenser that produces enough ice during summer months to keep up with demand," said Ed Jennings, director of marketing.

The mechanics of the 1506 were designed to fit into a 30-inch-wide cabinet on top of a 30-inch soda dispenser. Karssiens said the newest model allows 300 pounds more ice production daily in a 30-inch cabinet over previous Ice-O-Matic models of the same dimensions.

Also new at the restaurant show were hotel dispensers in 22- and 30-inch widths. There are oversized sinks to accommodate almost any size ice bucket, the company said.

An electronic cubelet ice and water dispenser was said to produce up to 273 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period under normal operating environments. A touch-free infrared actuation provides additional food safety as a result of the direct dispensing and lack of human hands coming in

contact with the ice storage, the company said.

And the company's latest ice storage bin was the Model B75 with adjustable legs, a low bin profile, and 42-inch width. The company said it could be used with a 30-inch-wide side air discharge icemaker.

"Every machine with side air discharge requires 4 to 6 inches of side clearance to properly vent the machine. With a 30-inch machine on a 42-inch-wide bin, the 6 inches of clearance is built in," said Jennings.

IMI Cornelius (www.cornelius.com) featured its 500 Xtreme Series modular cubers. The units come with front service access, programmable water controls, self-insulating ABS evaporator housing, and Microban® antimicrobial.

Scotsman’s Eclipse™ technology was expanded to include 1,300-, 1,600-, and 2,000-pound ice production in 30-inch-wide cabinets.

Size And Flexibility

Manitowoc (www.manitowocice.com) showed a range of ice-making products. The company featured two mid-size ice machines, the S1000 and S850, and has begun production on two smaller models, the S300 and S500, which are being introduced into the foodservice market.

All models are equipped with removable water distribution tubes; a food zone designed with soft, round, and cove corners; hinged front doors; cleaning and sanitizing technology; and AlphaSan antimicrobial injected into the water distribution tube and attached water supply line. The S-Series 300 ice cube machine is 30 inches wide and can produce up to 325 pounds of ice daily; the S-Series 500 is 30 inches wide and can produce up to 540 pounds of ice daily.

The company also introduced its patented air-assist harvest technology. According to inventors Chuck Schlosser, Scott Shedivy, Rich Miller, and Tim Kraus, a small onboard air compressor injects low-pressure air from between the ice slab and the evaporator plate during the harvest cycle.

The air pressure is evenly dispersed to all the cells on the evaporator, causing the air to apply an even pressure to the entire ice slab, according to the company.

"Applying the pushing force evenly behind the slab is a much more reliable method than other methods currently in use today," the company said.

Research indicates energy savings of 20 percent to 30 percent during the ice-making cycle if harvest cycle times are reduced, the company added. "Due to the significance of this finding, the air-assist method of ice harvest will be immediately incorporated into select S-Series models throughout the first half of 2004."

The Scotsman (www.scotsman-ice.com) NRA rollout was varied, with Eclipseâ„¢ technology that now includes 1,300-, 1,600-, and 2,000-pound ice production in 30-inch-wide cabinets.

The idea, the company said, was to fit high-production, quiet equipment into a smaller space. The compressor and condenser are placed on the roof. The modular design features a compressor pressure regulator valve and quick connects.

The company also introduced the iceValetâ„¢ ice cube dispenser for hotels. It comes in 22- and 30-inch widths, with removable top front panels for cleaning and service on site. Cleaning can be accomplished with ReliaCleanâ„¢, a pushbutton process.

ITV of Spain (www.itv.es) featured Spika, a unit that makes cubed ice with a vertical evaporator and patented water distribution system. The unit comes with a stainless steel body and an oversized condenser for applications in hot countries.

Carter Davis, vice president of sales and marketing for Hoshizaki, welcomes the trade press to an update on the company’s products during the National Restaurant Association Show.

Ice Movement

The company's Ice Express System offers storage and transportation; it was designed to move large quantities of ice safely and quickly, without having to carrying them in buckets or carts. Ice flows from the bottom of the bin for "first in, first out" usage.

The company also displayed upright bins that store 1,100-1,700 pounds of ice, in all stainless steel construction or stainless steel with galvanized backs and bottoms. A roto-molded pouch door can be installed on site; it is shipped inside the bin to allow for delivery through doorways.

Regarding sanitation, Scotsman's AquaDefenseâ„¢ system consists of the AquaPatrolâ„¢, a water filtration system that the company said "leaves the bacteria-fighting chlorine in the water yet ensures the unit produces crystal-clear, taste-free, and odor-free ice and provides a phosphate feed to inhibit scale buildup"; AquaBulletâ„¢, an antimicrobial media placed in the sump water; and AquaArmor with AgION, which uses the antimicrobial properties of silver.

Personnel at the restaurant show booth of Follett Corp. (www.follettice.com) talked about its Chewblet ice maker that makes chewable ice. The maker is said to be quiet and reliable, requiring no preventive maintenance other than routine cleaning and sanitizing. Ice is delivered to the dispenser through a tube that can extend up to 20 feet.

The company said its hands-free dispenser can dispense ice at a rate of 120 pounds per minute into bags, carts, totes, and coolers.

More Water-Related Issues

Sterilox Technologies (www.sterilox.com) exhibited a wall-mounted sanitizing device at the FMI show. The Active Iceâ„¢ unit connects to an ice machine and uses hypochlorous acid as a sanitizer.

Everpure (www.everpure.com) promoted its MRS Series Combi-System, billed as the combination of "multiple functions into one all-inclusive system that offers flexible installation, efficient operation, easy cartridge replacement, and more."

The basic unit includes a storage tank, carbon filter, pressure gauge, prefilter, interconnective tubing, pressurized delivery system, bypass valve, and a submicron filtered/reverse osmosis water blend option.

Other features include a bladder-free storage tank to maximize volume capacity, quick-change cartridge, booster pump with recirculation, a central control box with on-off switch, and one electrical plug-in to simplify both new construction and retrofit installations, the company said.

OptiPure is a filtration system made by FilterExpress (www.optipurewater.com), a division of Procam Controls. The OptiPure CS Max filter technology incorporates a high mass of activated carbon throughout the media structure, according to the company.

Monitors And Probes

Emerson Climate Technologies (www.gotoemerson.com) used the NRA show to announce that it customized its ProAct® remote monitoring system for use in the restaurant industry. According to the company, the system helps restaurant operators reduce energy and maintenance costs while providing a view of operations and allowing access to equipment, system, and facility information.

"We have taken advanced technologies and services that have proven to reduce energy costs and improve equipment and building system performance in other markets and customized them to meet the needs of restaurant operators," said Oliver Kitner, director of product development for Emerson Retail Services.

"By offering this array of advanced technologies and services, we can help restaurant operators reduce energy usage, enhance equipment performance, lower operating costs, and protect food," he said.

Also part of the Emerson mix was the E2 control system, a tool that gives restaurant operators a means to better control and manage HVACR, lighting, irrigation, and cooking systems, the company said.

E2 "creates a restaurant environment where disparate systems are connected and can be monitored and managed from a central location," according to the company.

Raytek (www.raytek.com) used the restaurant show to feature FoodProâ„¢, which booth officials said may be used for maintaining a variety of surface temperatures, particularly those related to food safety.

Ceramic was part of the dispenser configuration at the exhibit of IMI Cornelius.

Sidebar: Tempting Customers' Taste Buds

IMI Cornelius showed several innovations in the area of customer attraction, such as FlavorFusionâ„¢ ice/drink dispensers, described as "a revolutionary new family of dispensers that give customers the ability to create their own special fountain drinks by adding cherry, vanilla, lemon, lime, or other flavors to their favorite brands."

Ceramic stoneware components, used in a line of soft drink dispensers, offer an attractive appearance. The ceramic is fired to 1,100 degrees C and then glazed, the company said. The dispenser itself brings product up from an under-counter storage area.

A new twist on a traditional treat, ice cream, came from Mini Melts Inc. (www.minimelts.com). Its Mini-Melts® product basically is ice cream compressed into small pellets and held in a specially modified freezer designed to hold the product at -40 degrees F.

Sidebar: More FMI, NRA Coverage To Come

This is the first of three articles which, over the next few months, will cover the latest in refrigeration technology showcased at two major trade shows: the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Supermarket Industry Convention and Education Exposition, and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

This article deals with ice machines and related technology. An article in the Aug. 2 News will cover reach-in and walk-in coolers and freezers. The Sept. 6 article will primarily focus on supermarket refrigeration technology. Each article combines information from the two shows.

Publication date: 07/05/2004