Nice Ice, Baby

Buying ice machines is a fairly straightforward proposition. One needs to consider size and capacity, noise generation, energy consumption and maintenance concerns. Overall, the technology hasn't changed much in the past few years.

Aesthetics, however, have come to the forefront, with sleek lines and stainless steel packaging giving the equipment a modern, clean and more upscale look. The ice cubes themselves have evolved to more unique shapes, such as the pillow, contoured shape and the half-moon.

Service often drives product choice, says Mike Grossman, director of replenishment business for Avendra, a purchasing company.

“The bottom-line price is very important to purchasers, but also, the reliability of the units and ease of service,” says Grossman. “We're finding that many aren't necessarily looking for the least costly units but units they feel are going to be longer lasting and easier to service.”

It's good to know your options, as there are several established, reliable manufacturers who can service your ice making needs. Here are a few and their current product offerings:

Scotsman introduced the iceValet hotel dispenser last year, featuring a total redesign that has made the machines highly reliable, quiet and easy-to-use. The sleek-looking family is available in 22-inch and 30-inch widths and features an easy-to-use ice dispensing chute. The 22-inch-wide unit offers storage up to 120 pounds while the 30-inch unit stores up to 180 pounds. Both units feature a new and improved sink depth of 7.75 inches that will accommodate virtually every size hotel ice bucket. Plus, the 30-inch model is available with optional coin/token mechanism or water filler.

By matching Scotsman's CM3 ice machines with the iceValet dispenser, hotel operators will experience improved liability and lower utility costs, claims the company. Performance is assured with features like Scotsman's AutoIQ, with patented Adaptive Harvest, patented AntiSlush and AutoRestart. CM3 technology features ReliaClean, a simplified, push-button cleaning process to help keep ice machines clean.

Kold-Draft touts its AKD125 ice dispenser and ice machines for dependability, longevity, quiet operation and the purest ice. The heavy-duty commercial grade stainless steel frames and skins provide a beautiful finish without the cracking, deformation, fading or melting that can occur with some plastic components. The auger-fed dispenser minimizes the waste and hazards of spilled ice, a more common problem with gravity dump machines. The push-button or room key-operated dispenser holds 125 pounds of ice, features automatic bin level control, and is easy to clean. A water filler option is available. Kold-Draft ice machines, producing either 300 or 500 pounds per day, keep the dispenser filled with ice. The “upside down” horizontal evaporator produces pure, clear and slow melting ice, normally without the need for costly external water filters.

The Serenity Series Cubelet IceMachine from Hoshizaki America, Inc. produces up to 1,000 pounds of ice every 24 hours and is designed to save space. The condenser and compressor are stationed outside the kitchen and away from customers, therefore producing less heat and noise. Serviceability is easy due to convenient access from the front or back of the ice machine, plus there are no wires between the units and the pump down cycle allows for a more efficient start up. The Serenity Series ice machine has an attractive stainless steel construction with fewer moving parts, which makes it dependable, warrants longer machine life and saves energy, claims the company.

Manitowoc has just launched its new SPA-310 hotel ice dispenser. Designed for ice bucket filling, the dispenser features 180 pounds ice storage capacity and accepts a 22-inch or 30-inch-wide Manitowoc ice machine. A stainless steel exterior with gray accents and rounded front is designed to blend with any décor. And a patented rocking chute dispense mechanism reduces in-flight ice and ice spillage with quick on/off activation.

For more information on ice equipment, use the reader service card in the back of the magazine to contact these companies: Hoshizaki, circle 75; Kold-Draft, circle 76; Manitowoc Inc., circle 77; Scotsman Ice Systems, circle 78, or go to

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