Hoshizaki's Commitment to Simplicity
Take a look inside a Hoshizaki ice machine and it's easy to see why the company bills its commercial ice makers as some of the simplest in the industry. Its engineers have opted to stick with what they and their machines' end users know works, resisting the temptation to adopt complex technology for technology's sake. A modern Hoshizaki ice machine isn't all that different from the earliest units to roll off the assembly line in the 1980s. That commitment to what works makes Hoshizaki ice machines some of the most reliable and easy-to-own in the industry.
Remove the front panel of a Hoshizaki ice machine and you'll notice how all of the essential parts are easy to identify and access. The equipment's "hot side," consisting of the compressor and condenser, and its "cold side," which includes its evaporator and water distribution system, are arranged side-by-side for easy cleaning and service. This setup lets staff members reach and remove components to clean them, and gives technicians quick access to all parts when they need maintenance and repair.
One component in particular sets a Hoshizaki ice machine apart from competitors' models: the evaporator plate. Hoshizaki's patented design for its crescent cubers employs a smooth, seamless plate that's made with fewer pieces than competitors' waffle grids. Waffle grids have many nooks and crannies in which mineral deposits tend to develop. Those cause machines to become less efficient over time and can lead to premature component failure. Hoshizaki's smooth evaporators resist the buildup of mineral deposits and are much easier to clean.
Hoshizaki's evaporators are dual-sided, meaning they make ice on both the front and back. This design allows a Hoshizaki ice machine to produce the same volume ice as a comparable competitor model in about half as many cycles. Fewer cycles means less wear and tear on the machine's components and lower energy consumption, so a Hoshizaki unit is likely to last longer and consume less electricity over its lifetime.
Unlike most competitors' evaporators, which are made of nickel-coated steel, Hoshizaki evaporators are fully stainless steel, a material that lasts longer and remains highly resistant to rust. Stainless steel also allows the evaporator to be cleaned with stronger cleaners than nickel-plated components, which can only be cleaned with milder, nickel-safe chemicals.
All Hoshizaki cubers include a 24-hour clean cycle that purges the machine's water trough once an hour to get rid of the mineral sediment that collects there. That cleansing cycle keeps the machine running smoothly and churning out clear, hard, slow-melting ice. It also means you'll have to pause and disrupt your operations less often to clean the machine, since the cycle slows the buildup of minerals on the machine's evaporator plate. A similar process purges Hoshizaki's flake and nugget machines to provide the same benefits.
Individual Crescent Cubes
The result of Hoshizaki cubers' unique ice-making process is obvious: crystal-clear, crescent-shaped ice cubes that are unlike any ice in the industry. These cubes form in individual pieces, unlike competitors' ice that forms in grids. This style eliminates the "waffles" of ice that competing models sometimes deposit in the bin for staff members to break up before they can prepare a drink. The crescent cubes also nest densely in customers' glasses to displace a higher volume of liquid and lower your cost per drink.
When it's time to move finished ice from the evaporator to the ice bin, Hoshizaki machines take advantage of a tested and proven harvest method. The equipment's compressor temporarily reverses its cycle to warm the evaporator plate and loosen the ice, which will then fall into the ice bin. This method avoids the need for the moving parts and electronic sensors of competitor models that add extra points of potential failure. It also ensures a faster and complete harvest, helping increase yield and eliminating one potential source of problems.
Simpler Flakers and Cubers, Too
It's not just Hoshizaki's crescent cubers that are built on the principle that simpler is better. The company's flakers and nugget makers are built the same way. These machines create ice with an auger assembly, rather than the flat evaporator of a cube machine, and those are built with fewer parts than competing models. A Hoshi auger is comprised of about 15 parts, whereas a typical competitor's assembly is built with more than 30. Fewer moving parts means easier maintenance and a lower chance of failure. Plus, if a Hoshi auger should fail, it'll likely be easier and more affordable to repair than a competitor's.
It's important that the ice machine's auger be kept running smoothly so the machine can continue uninterrupted in the production of ice. While competitors rely on greased roller bearings to keep the auger spinning along, Hoshizaki flakers and nugget ice machines feature augers built with graphite sleeve bearings that operate smoothly without the need for grease. This eliminates the need to regularly lubricate the machines bearings, a step that's required to maintain competitors' equipment.