When it comes to industrial ice machines, you have to consider more than just the size.
Depending on the industrial ice maker you choose, you could end up with different shapes of ice. You should also consider the method an industrial ice machine uses to keep the ice-cold.
The differences in ice machines come down to these two things: type and ice shape.
So here’s a quick list of all the different kinds of commercial and industrial ice makers.
1. Ice Machine Types
There are several types of industrial ice machines, but the main ones are the modular ice machine, the undercounter ice machine, the countertop ice dispenser, and the combination ice/water machine.
Let’s break down how each of these types works.
Modular Ice Machine
These are large ice makers, and because they make such big amounts of ice, you’ll probably need some kind of ice bin or ice dispenser to go along with it.
Because of this, these ice machines are actually designed to sit on top of other bins or dispensers. This lets them supply the other machine with ice whenever more ice is needed.
A modular ice machine can be anywhere from 22 inches wide to 48 inches wide. The size dictates the amount of ice it can create, which can be anywhere from 250 pounds to over 1000 pounds a day.
Undercounter Ice Machine
Unlike the modular ice machine, an undercounter ice machine is a combination of an ice maker and an ice bin. That means the machine makes and stores the ice itself.
They are much smaller than modular ice machines, able to fit under most 40 inch counters. Because of their size and convenience, these ice makers are suitable choices for cafes, bars, or businesses that don’t need massive amounts of ice.
Undercounter ice machines don’t usually make more than 350 pounds of ice a day.
Countertop Ice Dispenser
Though these ice makers sit on top of the counter instead of beneath them, they can actually make and store slightly more ice than an under-counter ice machine.
They top off at about 400 pounds of ice a day, so they’re a good choice for commercial use.
countertop ice makers tend to dispense nugget-shaped ice cubes (which we’ll talk about in a moment). This makes them easy to chew, so you might find these dispensers in medical facilities.
Combination Ice/Water Machine
These are the ice dispensers that can also dispense water. You’ve probably used these machines several times at cafeterias, cafes, or break rooms.
Combination ice makers can produce about 500 pounds of ice every day, but they don’t take up very much space. You can put them on your countertop and still have space for everything else you need.
2. Ice Shapes
The shape and size of the ice affect how quickly the ice will melt. Some types of ice are also easier to chew than others. Depending on your needs, the shape of your ice could make a huge difference.
So here’s a list of common ice shapes and their qualities.
This is just your normal ice cube. It is the most common type of ice made by ice machines, and it melts slower than other ice shapes.
This means your customers will use less ice, which could save you some money. Depending on how big you want your ice cubes, you can choose to get full cubes, regular cubes, or half cubes.
This type of ice also melts slowly, but it is much easier to chew than other ice shapes. In fact, it is sometimes called “chewblet” ice because it’s so easy to eat.
If you need to make a lot of smoothies, cold beverages, or blended drinks, you’ll probably want an ice machine that produces nugget ice.
This type of ice almost looks like snow. You’ve probably seen it in meat or salad displays. Because of its small size, it is also easy to chew and eat.
It cools very quickly, and you can mold a flaked ice into any larger shape you want.