A Commercial Ice Machine is a piece of food service equipment that creates ice for a food service atmosphere as well as but not limited to cafeterias, restaurants, motels and hotels, medical and healthcare facilities, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Commercial Ice Machines make ice with water from an outside source and an internal freezing mechanism. They are designed to create medium to large amounts of food-grade quality ice each day and are able to endure the wear and tear of constant use and higher temperatures such as those found in a money-making kitchen. Commercial ice machine mechanisms that come into direct contact with water and ice must meet food-safety criterions.

Commercial ice machines are usually manufactured from durable materials such as stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminium, and heavy duty insulation and plastics. A Residential Ice Machine is not usually commercial grade. Residential units are not as heavy-duty as commercial units. While residential ice machines will be food-safe, they are not usually made to bear the rigors of daily use in a commercial food service atmosphere. Residential units also do not create large volumes of ice each day like the commercial ice machine will.

The Actual Ice Making

Water comes in from an exterior supply line and is fed by a pump onto a cooled metal surface. The water freezes one thin coating at a time, eradicating gases and microscopic bubbles that can make ice seem cloudy-white, like in your ice cube tray in your home freezer. The cubes or other ice shapes grow layer by layer as more water is added to the chilly surface.

When the ice is completely formed, it is either forced or released from the freezing surface (often referred to as harvesting). Once movable, the ice can fall into a gathering bin for storage or instant dispensing. Then the ice making process starts again.

Many ice making systems contain either an internal physical switch, photo-optic sensor or temperature sensor that will stop the ice machine from creating more ice than the collection bin can hold at a time. This making the collection of the ice better as it will not overflow. Ice machines definitely make it easier for us to attain ice for the job it needs to complete.