Capacity Ratings for ice machines are often misunderstood, leading to frustration and added expense for business owners.  Simply reading this page might save you time and money.

There are two important points to know about ice machine production capacity ratings:

1)  Ice machine manufacturers typically publish two production capacity numbers – Maximum Capacity and AHRI Capacity.

2)  Those numbers are based on environmental conditions – meaning they change with temperature.

Two Ratings:

Maximum Capacity – measures the ice machine’s production capacity during 24 hours of continuous operation when the air surrounding the ice machine is held to 70 degrees and the temperature of the water being supplied to the machine is 50 degrees.

AHRI Capacity – measures production during that same 24 hour period when the air is 90 degrees and the water is 70 degrees

Most ice machine model numbers are based on the Maximum Capacity Rating.  For example, Hoshizaki’s KM600-MAH is often called a 600# ice machine.  For this machine, it’s AHRI rating is 503# while its Max Capacity is 592# – hence it’s description as a 600 pound machine.

The problem isn’t the 8# shortfall.  The problem is that during the summer, three things happen:

1)  More people want ice

2)  Each person consumes more ice

3)  Your ice machine produces less ice

That means that just when you need ice the most, your machine will produce the least!

There are two other factors when considering ice machine capacity:

1)  Production Rate

2)  Ice Storage Bin Size

The production rate of the machine is the Capacity / 24.  In other words, if the machine is rated for 480 lbs /day, the ice machine will produce 20 lbs / hour.  Keep this in mind when you empty your bin.

Finally, every ice maker has a sensor to shut down ice making capacity when the bin is full.  If your bin is too small for your application, the ice machine could shut off production, effectively reducing the machine’s capacity.

One of the great benefits of the Easy Ice program is that we will work with you to select the right ice machine.  If we don’t get it right, our Upsizing Program ensures you won’t get stuck with the wrong machine or a big bill for getting a larger machine.