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# Determining Your Commercial Ice Requirements

Commercial ice machines are a huge, but necessary investment. It is able to produce huge quantities of ice in a short period of time and is therefore able to keep up with the demands of the drink orders that might be found at a restaurant, cafeteria, or bar. Because these machines are so expensive to run, it is important to optimize the amount of ice that is being produced so that money is not being wasted on unused materials, but there is still enough ice to meet the needs of the customers. There are six simple steps to follow in order to figure out commercial ice requirements.

The first is step is to determine the ice needs of the business. This is with regards to the type of ice a business will need. This could vary from restaurant to restaurant, or from bar to bar. Generally, restaurants will need half cubed ice and will need to determine the daily use of a person in the restaurant, as will cocktail bars. However, cocktail bars will need to determine the amount of ice that is required per chair, rather than per person. Salad bars will need flaked ice, while fast food restaurants will calculate the amount of ice (either half cube or nugget) that is required per drink. Bars and clubs will usually calculate the amount of ice that is needed per seat and will either use half cube or gourmet cube. By determining the type of that is needed, as well as whether or not the ice will need to be calculated per drink or per seat it will be possible to develop a rough estimate regarding what the commercial ice requirements of a restaurant will be.
2. Use the Formula
The next step with regards to determining how much product a machine needs to produce is to figure out what the formula. This formula is essentially is a method of taking all of the different information that is provided and calculating how much ice is needed and how much ice a machine can produce in a given amount of time. The formula looks like this:
Production ÷ 24 hours = Hourly Capacity
Storage capacity ÷ Hourly capacity = Recovery Time
Run time × Hourly capacity = Net Yield
Batch weight × (cycle time minutes ÷ 1440) = Maximum 24 hour yield
3. Determine the “Hourly Ice Capacity”
Each part of the above formula will need to be computed individually in order for the formula to be utilized efficiently. The first part is to figure out what the hourly ice capacity is. Essentially, the hourly ice capacity is the amount of ice that can be produced by a machine within an hour. To figure that out, a machine can be run for a 24 hour period. This is known as the amount of “Production” that the machine is able to put out. Once this has been determined, that number is divided by 24 hours, since that is the number of hours in the day. Once this number has been calculated, it is possible to go onto the next step of the formula.
4. Determine the Length of the “Recovery Time”
The next part that needs to be calculated is recovery time. Recovery time is the amount of time that the storage bin connected to the ice machine can receive ice until it is full. This number is calculated assuming that no ice is being removed from the storage bin. To figure out this number, the storage capacity of the machine will need to be figured out. Ordinarily, ice machines are classified by the amount of ice they are able to hold, so this number is usually part of the general knowledge associated with the machine. Take the storage capacity and then divide it by the hourly capacity which was determined in the previous step to calculate recovery time.
5. Calculate the “Net Yield”
To calculate the net yield of a machine that produces ice, it is necessary to take the amount of time for which the machine is being run and multiply it by the hourly capacity. The run time is usually for more than twelve hours. The time at which the ice machine is turned on and turned off is determined by each individual restaurant, so this number will differ for everyone. The net yield that is calculated is the amount of ice that will be produced in an average day.
6. Calculate “Your Maximum 24 Hour Ice Yield”
Finally, the last part of the formula is to calculate the maximum amount of ice produced in a 24 hour period. This is when the amount of time that it takes for a cycle of ice production to be completed is divided by 1440, the number of minutes in a 24 hour period. The number that results from this calculation is then multiplied by the weight of the batch of ice that is created within an ordinary cycle.

By using this formula, it will be possible to maximize the efficiency of the machine that produces ice. This means that the restaurant or bar will have the amount of ice that it needs, with the amount of extra, unused ice that’s wasted being minimized. Following this simple six step process will cut costs, reduce waste, and increase a company’s overall profits so that it can be successful.  