AI-CEweg for fish counters with presentation on ice
AICHINGER Innovation: Automatic ice removal saves time and money
Sales of fresh and thawed fish products in the retail sector have grown steadily in recent years. An essential criterion for optimal product and presentation quality and low markdowns is the daily replacement of the ice and regular cleaning of the fish counter. AICHINGER, innovation leader in refrigerated counters, is the first manufacturer to offer an automatic ice removal system. AI-CEweg reduces the time and effort for ice disposal.
The AI-CEweg ice removal system is a further development of the proven Automatic Cleaning and Rinsing System (ARS) for the SIRIUS®3 refrigerated counter. In this system, water is sprayed up to 10 times at defined intervals with rinsing nozzles, similar to a sprinkler. The rinsing nozzles protrude slightly above the counter tray. The outgoing water pressure can be precisely adjusted to melt the ice optimally without spraying the glass structure of the counter.
With the push of a button, the defrost function is activated and the cooling function of the counter is switched off at the same time. Within about 3 hours, up to 23 kg of ice per linear meter is melted. A drain strainer ensures that the drain is ice-free and the defrosting process is not interrupted. A sensor stops the water supply if the drain is blocked. Refrigerated counters with the AI-CEweg ice defrost system are equipped with a system separator. This prevents the defrost water from flowing back into the fresh water network in accordance with the German Drinking Water Ordinance and DIN EN1717. This ensures that the system operates in compliance with the German regulations and is safe in the long term.
The operation of a fish counter requires ice to be produced, kept in reserve, and added and replenished daily to the counter. AICHINGER recommends loading the crushed ice tray (325 mm wide) with 12 kg of ice for fish counters and replenishing 3 kg in 12 hours. The fresh fish must always be covered with some ice. For hygienic reasons and to prevent spoilage of the fish, it is recommended to remove all ice from the counter after closing time and dispose of it. Despite being stored on ice, fish breaks down protein and fats, which makes for an ideal breeding ground and rapid growth of microorganisms in the ice and in the tub.
Disposal of the ice used to be very costly and time-consuming. The ice was shoveled from the counter tub into a container in which it was slowly melted at room temperature, by adding warm water or by heating the container. Because of the time involved, the product was often removed from the counter, and thus from sale, an hour before the end of opening hours. The removal and defrosting process not only tied up capacity, but the ice also increased the risk of slipping in the counter area.