Tube ice machines are built to last long. The best tube ice machines last for more than 30-40 years. In fact, the development of these refrigerators is built to satisfy large volume ice markets like airlines, cruise ships, casinos, packages ice sellers and night clubs.
The make and built of ice machines are varied. Choosing the appropriate ice machine for your business is dependent on the type of business you want with it. The ice machines come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. There are three major types of ice machines, which are differentiated by their method of refrigeration. The following are the three types;
While variations exist in each of the types, in this guide we are going to focus on tube ice machines.
Tube ice machines make ice through direct refrigeration by heat transfer. This machine operates by discharging ice once after every 20 minutes and usually works in batches.
Types of Tube Ice Machines
Tube Ice machines come in different types.
Most tube ice machines are constructed with durable but low maintenance industrial strength stainless steel. The machines are designed in a way that ensures they work well and for a long time in any given environment. Sanitary construction of the tube ice machines is an additional component of the modern tube ice machine that results from sanitary fabrication stainless steel and ensures that you get a sanitary ice end product. The system framework includes sump, tubes and tube sheets, water heater, evaporator shell, sanitary water pump, the cutter assembly, the piping, and the pump. Note that all of these materials are built from stainless steel unless for a small range of models that includes a structural aluminum framework.
Also note that these machines might come with the connection to a central centrifugal system, or ammonia-based freezing system. Additionally, the machines are silent because they are fitted with a front panel fire glass. Silent processing is an important aspect of the ice machine if at all you aim to provide a comfortable workspace. Traditional tube ice machines can be very noisy.
Recommendations that you should take note of during the usage of the standard modern tube ice machine include; when the packaged ice installations are sensitive to shape and size, you could use standard ice cube cutters to get the desired shape. In case size and shape do not matter, which is especially common in food-process, industrial scenarios, and fresh produce; Equipment configurations without ice cutters are advised.
Another important aspect of the standard modern tube ice machine includes low operating costs and high electric efficiency. These machines should be made in a way that they will require low manpower. It is common to have some being operated by a dozen of people; however, a few operators are enough. Some of the manufacturers will also provide free training to your operator on how to use the tube ice machine. The most efficient Ice tube machines are the ones that implement the direct refrigeration principal.
General Features of Tube Ice Machines
PLC System Controls
Tube ice machines are fitted with PLC system controls to automate the refrigeration process. This reduces overhead manpower costs.
The design of tube ice machines follows a simplistic approach that has adopted modern 3D technology simulation assemblies, easy operation, compact structure and ease of operating.
At the end of each ice making cycle, metal ions and any kind of impurities are discharged from the water circulating bin. This discharging applies to all metal ions that fall into contact with the water.
The materials that are used in the building of tube ice machines plus the design approach implements unique heat treatment concepts and alloy materials to come up with an optimum thermal performing product.
Thick and Transparent Tube
The tube ice is usually thick, transparent and offers a long storage period. The tube also features great permeability and takes a long time to melt.
Choosing the Right Tube Ice Machine
Every industrial establishment will prefer a given type of tube ice machine. The type will usually depend on the shape and size of ice they want to produce. Universally, these are the basic types of ice that exist; flake ice, nugget ice, and cube ice. Having a basic understanding of what type of ice a given ice machine produces will help you choose the best ice tube machine for your needs. Here are the factors to consider;
You should not stretch or squeeze your budget too much. The type and size of the machine you plan to buy should be determined by the ice capacity you plan to produce. Also, consider an estimate that will allow for expansion in case your consumers will grow in the future.
Make sure you take note of the water cost and electric cost efficiency of the machine that you choose to buy. The recommended water cost to electrical cost ratio is quarterly. However, this ratio might slightly vary with markets where the price of water is a little bit above premium.
Location of the Tube Ice Machine
Different tube ice machines vary in requirements towards the type of power, drainage, airflow and space that you need to place them. Also choose a business location where temperatures are constantly moderate throughout the year, to save on energy costs, and prevent unnecessary condensation.
A commercial establishment with moderate ice needs and an average volume of customers could select modular tube ice machines that meet the needs of the customer base. In case, your business is a small establishment like a bar or restaurant, a countertop ice tube maker is recommended. Note that the choice wholly depends on the type of business and the nature of your market.
If you have decided a tube ice machine is the way to go, the above tips will help you choose a reliable tube ice maker. It does not matter whether you are making your first purchase, or adding to your assortment. The tips in this guide are quite helpful for everyone.