Differences among Ice Flakers
Despite what appearances might suggest, not all ice machines are created equal. There are many ice machines on the market that produce different amounts, types and quality of ice. To differentiate among the competing brands and models of commercial ice machines, there are three major factors to consider. You’ll find that comparisons based on the suitability, efficiency and construction of ice machines will help you make the right decision.
One of the first considerations in your search should be the suitability of the product for your application. Flake ice, nugget ice and crushed ice are all suited for different applications. If you need ice to chill and display food products such as seafood, produce and poultry, as well as ingredient ice for sausage and industrial bakery products, flake ice is ideal. Flake ice is less likely to bruise or scratch delicate items and packs together well to provide optimal chilling effects. Nugget ice is generally used to cool beverages because it is soft and chewable. Also used in beverages, crushed ice is common in blended, frozen drinks. You will get the best results from your machine if you select one that suits your application.
The efficiency of the machine should also figure into your decision. You’ll find that some machines feature an open-style evaporator, while others employ a closed-style. Open-style evaporators allow for the 100% harvest of ice using the natural force of gravity. Any remaining unfrozen water is collected, recirculated, and eventually converted to ice. Closed-style evaporators, on the other hand, flood the freezing chamber with water and push the ice product out. Closed-style evaporators are not only inefficient in terms of energy, but also in quality. Typically, this type of evaporator produces a mixture that is only about 60% ice and 40% water. The most efficient machine, therefore, is one with an open-style evaporator.
A last, key consideration is the construction and longevity of a machine. Many commercial ice machine manufacturers position the gearbox below the evaporator, where it is vulnerable to a great deal of stress. Those with closed style evaporators also experience greater wear and tear on bearings and seals. These factors contribute to a shorter service life of only 3 to 5 years typically. After this period, you may expect costly repairs for replacement parts and service, and in many instances, replacing the entire machine.
A commercial ice machine is an investment that should perform well over the long term. Howe ice machines produce flake ice that is especially well suited to the seafood, poultry, sausage, produce, and industrial bakery food industries. Our units feature an open-style evaporator that not only provide energy savings, but also deliver higher quality harvests. In addition, Howe ice machines outlast other ice machines on the market with an average lifespan of about 25 years, with many units lasting far longer.
To learn more about the well-constructed, efficient flake ice machines from Howe, please contact us today.