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Scotsman Ice Systems: Reinvention Of Ice

Ice, which has widespread use ranging from chilling beverages and preserving perishables to relieving pain and storing medicine, has a rooted history. It was first harvested back in the 1800s from frozen bodies of water and transported to cities by a determined man Frederic Tudor, also known as “Ice King.” An “iceman” used to deliver cuts of ice to customers then. As ice shifted from a luxury commodity to a basic need, Scotsman took over the role of the iceman. Scotsman Ice Systems reinvented the ice production process with premium machines produced at home and distributed worldwide.

Scotsman Ice Systems: The History Behind The Reinvention Of Ice

Scotsman Ice Systems is a global leader in ice-making machines. They hold a highly respected position in the fiercely competitive ice manufacturing industry with more than 250 businesses in the USA. This didn’t happen at the snap of a finger, of course. Decades of research and innovation entitled the company the reinventor of ice machines. Scotsman Ice Systems delivers over 300 models worldwide. Each new model is released with a unique design to improve energy efficiency, reduce water consumption, and perfect ice quality. There is a rich legacy of innovation underlying the company’s reinvention of ice. Below are the three crucial steps in this history.

1. The Curious Case of Scotsman Ice Systems: From Heating to Freezing

Scotsman C1848MA-32, BH1600BB-A, 1909 lbs, Full Cube Ice Maker with Bin, 1755 lbs Storage

Although Scotsman Ice Systems was established in 1950, the legacy started back in the 1890s. In 1894, the American Gas Machine Company began doing business in the growing gas lighting industry. The company made its name with kitchen stoves, camp stoves, gas lanterns, and water heaters. By 1920, it had grown into a market leader, manufacturing and delivering gas lighting equipment at home and abroad. Until then, neither the name Scotsman nor any ice generating machine is in the game.

The history of Scotsman Ice Systems can be traced back to 1921. The successful sales manager of the American Gas Machine Company, Mr. Trow, quit his job and set up a rival with the name of Queen. Queen’s camp stoves swiftly became popular. The company was then named Queen Stove Works. You may be wondering when the ice will be involved in the business. It’s still heating equipment, not chilling. In 1950, Queen Stove Works acquired its primary competitor, American Gas Machine Company. They expanded their product line with an ice machine. 

Scotsman was the marketing name used for the first commercial ice machines by Queen Stove Works. After the acquisition by King-Seeley Corporation in 1957 and the merger with American Thermos Products Company, Queen started to manufacture ice machines only. That was the birth of several ice cubers and flakers Scotsman Ice Systems distributes internationally today. Scotsman was still a nobody in the relatively young ice machines market. The Scotsman brand name’s climb to the peak accelerated when Frimont SpA, an Italian player already in the game, joined the family. 

2. Scotsman Industries, Inc: The Precursor Of Scotsman Ice Systems

Scotsman BH1600SS Ice Storage Bin, Top Hinged Front Door

The storied history of Scotsman Ice Systems began to roll into a thick success storybook with new additions and ownerships. As Frimont was already a recognized name, distributing products in the Middle East, Far East, and Europe, the first step towards internalization was taken. Until the late 1980s, the enterprise continued growing, absorbing some other companies under the corporate umbrella of Household Manufacturing. By the end of 1980, Scotsman ice-making machines, storage bins, dispensers, blast freezers, and refrigerators had an extended distribution network covering Africa.

In 1989, Household Manufacturing split into three companies. The Refrigeration Products Group set up a manufacturing plant in Vernon Hills, Illinois, the present headquarters of Scotsman Ice Systems. The new name given to this new enterprise was Scotsman Industries, Inc. Thus far, Scotsman was just a marketing name. Beginning in 1989, it gained recognition also as a corporate name. The 1990s marked further growth with joint ventures in several foreign markets, such as Germany, China, and the UK. By the mid-1990s, Scotsman Industries, Inc. accounted for 90% of the US ice machines industry. Plus, they enjoyed up to 60% market share in Europe. 

Scotsman NME1854RS Nugget-Style Ice Maker, 2185 Pounds

3. The First Biggest Step In Reinvention Of Ice

Scotsman Ice Systems boasts understanding customer needs much better than other manufacturers. The company’s experts started responding successfully to changing demands and emerging challenges back in the 1990s. When the US government announced that chlorofluorocarbon-containing refrigerants would be banned in 1996, Scotsman Industries, Inc. had already intensified efforts to develop CFS-free ice machines. Meanwhile, R&D teams noticed that the quality of Scotsman ice machines wasn’t rated as high as they expected. Working hard to meet these market and regulatory demands, the company doubled the dependability of its ice makers and introduced the first CFC-free ice machine.

Scotsman Industries, Inc. grew into a foodservice giant by adding new members to the family. The expanding product line included food prep equipment, beverage dispensers, storage units, refrigerated display cases, and insulated panels. However, Scotsman Ice Systems sharpened its market focus on ice-making, storing, and dispensing machines. As the originator of the nugget ice machines, the company continued to work even harder to produce purer ice with a more attractive look. Ice from their cubers, flakers, or shavers is now cleaner and more good-looking. 

Scotsman CU0920MA-6 Ice Maker with Bin, 100 lbsDay

Scotsman Ice Systems continues its business activity under the banner of Ali Group. The reinvention of ice is still planned, piloted, and realized in the company’s main office in Vernon Hills. The brand also stands out with innovative ice machines having fewer moving parts, producing more ice, and using less energy. Over 300 models of ice makers, dispensers, and bins sold in more than 100 countries rightfully make Scotsman Ice Systems the largest ice machines manufacturer in the world.  

Ice That Scotsman Ice Systems Reinvented 

Scotsman Ice Systems plays a prominent role in the success of many food service, accommodation, catering, healthcare, and retail facilities. The company’s emphasis on ice-making, storing, and dispensing equipment in research and development facilities enabled them to reinvent ice each time they introduced a new model. Every new release promises to lower water and electricity costs, increase reliability and durability, and produce cleaner and more appealing ice. Here are some of the patented reinventions Scotsman Ice Systems have forged.

Scotsman HID525 Nugget-Style Ice Maker, 500 Pounds
  • Original Chewable IceTM, designed in 1981, made the company a leader in nugget ice.
  • Scotsman Ice Systems received the 2010 Overall Best-in-Class award given by Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine.
  • Over 35 ENERGY STAR® qualified models brought Scotsman Ice Systems the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award in 2012 and 2013 and the Award for Excellence in Energy-Efficient Product Design in 2011.
  • Appreciating the nugget ice mania, Scotsman Ice Systems introduced “Nug Locator” in 2011 for ice chewers who prefer the tastier and softer Scotsman nugget ice.
  • Prodigy® Advanced Sustainability™, released in 2011, brought water and energy reduction to an unmatched level. This innovation increased ice production capacity by 10% on average and allowed an easy track of the ice-making capacity through the built-in AutoAlert™ light system.
  • The new Prodigy® Modular Cube Ice Maker combines multiple unique features, promising minimum utility costs, and footprint for maximum production capacity. The compact Scotsman C0722MA-6 Cube-Style Ice Maker, for instance, can generate 725 pounds of ice per day.
  • In 2013, Scotsman Ice Systems announced the New Essential™ Line of Ice Machines. Scotsman CU0920MA-6 Ice Maker with Bin and others in this line are undercounter ice cube makers designed for facilities needing less than 100 pounds of daily ice production.
  • 2015 marks the reinvention of the 2006-patented Prodigy® with the Prodigy Plus® model name. After extensive market research, Prodigy Plus® was released with next-generation technologies. All the models have AutoAlert™ for easier monitoring of ice production and two optional features: Smart-Board™ for increased diagnostic capabilities and Vari-Smart™ for ice level customization. Scotsman C2648MR-3 Cube-Style Ice Maker is the most productive family member, with 2630 pounds of ice per 24 hours.
  • In 2015, Scotsman Ice Systems also revolutionized its nugget ice machines with Meridian™ ice and water dispensers. The touch-free dispensing feature and AgION® antimicrobial protection facilitate cleaning and servicing. The members of this family can work up to 15% more efficiently. For instance, Scotsman HID525 Nugget-Style Ice Maker is a space-saving countertop ice maker with a daily production capacity of 500 pounds. In 2016, it received the GOOD DESIGN™ award, the most prestigious design award.
  • Another reinvention by Scotsman Ice Systems came in 2018. The new Essential™ Nugget and Essential™ Flaker ice machines offer the combined benefits of reliability, durability, and production capability in a compact design. Scotsman UF424 Flake-Style Ice Maker with Bin exemplifies this product line, making 440 pounds of ice each day.

Scotsman Ice Systems embodies never-ending enthusiasm for the reinvention of ice. Following technological advancements and changing market demands, the company’s researchers constantly customize the ice machines. From cubers to flakers or nugget ice makers, you are sure to find the model that best fits your needs. Scotsman Ice Systems takes ice machine sizing very seriously by offering an online tool for the customers.

Scotsman Ice Systems: The Ice The World DemandsTM

When the ice was a luxury, an iceman would carry people their ice. The whole process of reaching this luxury was a hard row to hoe. Technology removed this hassle and made ice production a breeze. Now the ice is abundant. Scotsman Ice Systems is the modern iceman delivering pure ice to whoever needs it. Ice machines weren’t invented by Scotsman Ice Systems, but the ice was reinvented by Scotsman machines. That’s why the company is a world leader in the commercial ice machines industry. This elite brand name has always pioneered efficient, reliable, and user-friendly ice makers, bins, and dispensers. 

Ray Hunter has been on the content management team of Chef’s Deal since 2021. With a deep insight into foodservice equipment and content writing dynamics, Ray has produced informative content about equipment, methods, and trends in the industry. He focuses on generating category and product content and also blog posts that achieve a fine balance between SEO optimization and user-friendliness to reach and address commercial kitchen operators’ wide-ranging needs and queries. With a special interest in novel technologies used in food service machinery, Ray works vigorously to remain up-to-date about emerging market expectations and advancements addressing them.   

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