Industrial Ice Making Machine Types and Usage

a large cube ice making machine


An ice making machine is the perfect appliance to relieve you of any ice making stress. It is not a freezer, so the ice inside will melt. But the melt water will be returned to the machine and made into ice again. For the convenience of making suitable shape of ice, ice making machine is widely used in many industries. We can commonly see it in fishery industry, catering services, agriculture, construction industry, food processing industry and so on. And it is an ideal equipment for supermarket.

There are different kinds of ice making machines. Here are some detailed descriptions.

Cube Ice Making Machine

a hand pulling out the box of the cube ice making machine

Source: shop.ok in

Like most ice making machine, it generates ice by cooling the water through the evaporator, and  puts water into the refrigerant of the refrigeration system. The whole process is carried out during the power-on process.

The main parts of the ice making machine contains water inlet valve, water storage tank, compressor, evaporator and ice storage tank. The water from inlet valve flows into the water storage tank automatically, and then the water will be pumped into the evaporator. A part of water is refrigerated to ice point, and it will turn to ice soon, the other water which isn’t reach to the ice point goes back to the tank and will be pumped again until it turns to ice.

When the ice is thick enough, the compressor outputs high pressure steam in order to make a layer of water film between the ice and the compressor. Due to the water film, the ice falls into the ice storage tank by gravity.

Due to the difference of the principles of evaporator, the cube ice making machine produce cube ice. The cube ice is commonly used in restaurants, banquet venues, bars and so many beverage making occasions. The cube ice is essential in cocktails, and various kinds of icy drinks, such as icy latte, icy America, icy juice and so on.

The cocktails are often served in glasses, and the taken-out icy drinks are often served in clear plastic cups. So, the shape of the ice is important. The cube ice is artistic. Except for that, the ice should be clean and hygienic, and in line with the standards of consumption.

Block Ice Making Machine

a block ice making machine

source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The block ice making machine is a high grade clear blocked ice production machine. It is an ice maker that produce one of the largest ice cubes in artificial ice cubes with the smallest contact surface and is the most difficult to melt. It is robust, easily maintained and very reliable.

The basic structure is similar to other common ice making machine, and the principle is not comprehensive. A majority of block ice making machines are stainless steel, which are durable and easy to clean. The size and weight of the machine are not standard. It can be customized and depends on the specific application. It can be used in ice factories of port terminals, food processing and preservation, cooling, ice sculpture and so on.

For the food industry, the block ice need to be manufactured to follow the food standards. The block ice making machine utilizes pure water, and turns the water into crystal-clear ice. It is also powderless and sanitary.

For the manufacture of port terminals and ice sulpture, there is a huge need of massive block ice. So, the block ice making machine is better to be large enough. The output of the world’s first large-scale ice block machine is 100 tons per day. Nowadays, the daily ice output of an equipment ranges from 1 ton to 200 tons.

Ball Ice Making Machine

a ball ice making machine


Most ball ice making machine combines with three parts:

  • Part 1: machine for transferring block ice
  • Part 2: machine for further making block ice with thickness suited to ball ice
  • Part 3: machine for turning block ice into ball ice

Ball ice machine is mainly designed to produce ball shaped ice. Ball shaped ice suits for cocktail bars, KTV, nightclubs and so many entertainment venues. So, the ice needs to be crystal-clear and good roundness, in order to keep beverages like cocktails and whiskey cooler and longer.

Flake Ice Making Machine

a flake ice making machine

source: IndiaMART

If the temperature is low enough to make the water get to the ice point, the ice may turn into flake shape. So, the flake ice is the most natural shape. There is a wide applications of flake ice: fisheries industry, agricultural, laboratories, medical and so on.

Flake ice offers the best solution for the preservation of freshness and quick freezing for seafood. It is also useful for the cooling down of bread fermentation and the cooling process of meatballs. So, the flake ice making machine should fit different space and capacity requirement. At present, there are many companies manufactured the suitable flake ice making machine.

Air-cooled condenser is an important part of flake ice making machine. The cooling temperature rises with ambient temperature. Air-cooled condenser has several pros & cons, here are some details of advantages:

  • No use of water, and low operating cost.
  • No need for other supporting equipment, just power on and put into operation. So, it’s convenient for installation and usage.
  • Low pollution.

Here are some disadvantages:

  • High financial cost.
  • Not suitable for areas with dirty air and dusty climate.

Plate Ice Making Machine

a palte ice making machine


Place ice making machine is ice plant equipment used for manufacturing sheet ice with thickness ranging from 12mm to 20mm. The thickness of the ice can be controlled by freezing time. The plate ice making machine is resistant to corrosion, shock and compression. It adopts microcomputer for centralized control and easy operation, capable of realizing independent ice making and ice harvesting, greatly shortening the ice making time.

Plate ice machine is widely used in fisheries, remote fisheries, logistics, supermarket food preservation, meat processing, medicine and so on. Compared with other shapes of ice, the plate ice is more difficult to melt and has a smaller surface.

Slurry Ice Making Machine

a slurry ice making machine

source: biocompare

The slurry ice machine is made from stainless-steel frame with a compress or ice generator, condenser, control valves and flow valves. Slurry ice making machine produces ice shaped in slurry. Sea water and salt water are usually used in slurry ice making machine. Most slurry ice making machines have many advantages:

  • Rapid chilling and act temperature control.
  • Slurry covers the entire surface of the catch.
  • Slows down the growth of bacteria.
  • Available with or without a pre-cooler.
  • Low energy costs.

The slurry ice is soft without edge, which makes it a better cooling tool to protect the products.  As the ice crystal leave the product in a soft bed, this kind of slurry ice does not damage the fish. The small size of the ice particles results in a greater heat transfer area than other types of ice and as a result, faster cooling. It can be pumped at a concentration from 20% to 50% and easy to distribute and handle which increases productivity and flexibility. Besides, the slurry ice is pure and sanitary, which meets the food standards.

It is commonly used in a wide range of industries, such as cooling and storage of fish, produce, poultry and other perishable products. Slurry ice produced by the ice making machine is sub-cooled at -1 to -2 degree centigrade.

Tube Ice Making Machine

a tube ice making machine


Firstly, we should have a basic understanding of the tube ice making machine’s theory. There is a water storage tank below the machine. When the refrigeration system begins operating normally, the water in the tank below is transported from the water outlet to the water inlet of upper water tank by the water pump. After the water goes across the distributive pipe, it flows along the wall of the heat exchange tube. The water then begins a heat exchange. Some of the water is formed into tube ice, while the other which does not become ice returns to the water tank. The water continues heat exchanging so that the ice gets thick, and the hole of tube ice also becomes smaller and smaller.

After a period of time, the machine changes into ice cutting mode. The surface of the heat exchange pipe consists of refrigerant hot gas with high-pressure. The hot gas begins a heat exchange with the tube ice in the pipe wall. Hot gas makes contact between the tube ice and the wall of heat exchange, thawing the ice so that it looses adhesive force. The ice then drops into an ice cutting framework because of gravitational force and finally is cut into many pieces of tube ice.

Tube ice is suitable for daily eating, keeping vegetable, seafood fresh and so on. It’s also seen at architecture industry.


The basic principle of various types of ice making machine is similar. Through different principles of the evaporator, the ice turns into different shapes with different usages. Generally speaking, fisheries and food processing industries like cube and block ice making machines more. Huge block ice making machine also suits sculpture industry well. For the architecture industry, tube ice making machine may be a better choice. Except for that, there are still ball, plate and slurry ice making machines which applicated widely in different industries.

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