How does a Scotsman Ice Flaker Machine work

A Scotsman ice flaker machine, such as the AF80 and AF103 models, are commercial-grade units designed to produce large quantities of flake ice for use in various applications. These applications vary from the preservation of fresh fish/shellfish to the storage of super foods such as watercress. Your favourite cocktail is also complemented by the addition of flaked ice. Flaked ice is also widely used within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Flake ice is formed by freezing water in thin layers and then breaking it up, by a revolving auger, into small pieces. It easily moulds itself to any shape and rapidly cools by virtue of this unique attribute.

Scotsman Ice Flaker ‘Mechanics’

The Scotsman ice flaker machines work by using a refrigeration system to freeze water on a horizontal evaporator drum. A thin layer of water freezes on it’s inner surface. Once the layer of ice has formed, a blade (Auger) scrapes it off the drum, causing it to ‘flake’ then fall into a collection bin. The auger continually forces the flaked ice upwards by virtue of it’s ‘corkscrew’ motion.

This process continues until the bin is full. The auger continually rotates at an approximate speed of 10 RPM. This sedentary motion is achieved by a motor and a reducing gearbox. The Auger and the reducing gearbox outlet are paired by a toothed coupler. Flaked ice exits via a brass splitter and chute.

Flake Ice Machine refrigeration cycle

Scotsman Ice Flaker AugerMore often than not those unfamiliar with the principles of a refrigeration cycle can find the terminology baffling. However an ‘evaporator’ is simply the process of a refrigerant, whether it be an HFC or a Hydro Carbon, evaporating following it’s liquid state introduced via either capillary tubing or a metering device.

An evaporator is a heat exchanger or a medium much like the condenser matrix that sits in front of the compressor, otherwise referred to as a condensing unit. Therefore in simplistic terms an evaporator and a condensing unit are critical pieces within a refrigeration system. While even easier to think as the ‘condenser’ and ‘evaporator’ as a refrigerant continually changing state (condensing and evaporating).

Flaked Ice no longer the preserve of the Fishmonger

One of the benefits of using a Scotsman ice flaker machine is that it produces high-quality flake ice that is consistent in size and shape. This makes it easy to use in a variety of applications, such as in cocktails, smoothies, and seafood displays. Additionally, the machines are designed to be durable and reliable, with features such as stainless steel construction and self-contained refrigeration systems. Together with Agion which is the technology that makes products cleaner and long lasting with built in protection which resists the growth of microbes and the development of unpleasant odours. The aesthetics are complete with ergonomic design and a fully retractable access door.

Scotsman AF80 Ice Flaker – The under counter option

All machines supported by a self diagnostics control board. Not only do these control boards advise of faults but they are also invaluable in protecting the various mechanics of the system. Another advantage of the Scotsman AF80 and AF103 models is their compact size, making them ideal for use in under-counter installations. This allows businesses to maximize their space while still enjoying the benefits of having a high-capacity commercial ice flaker machine to hand. Furthermore, the machines are straightforward enough to clean and maintain, however prevention is always better than the cure. Remember all ice is classed as a foodstuff and water conditioners/purifiers are highly recommended. This not only protects your customers but also your investment.

Scotsman AF103 Ice flaker now running on R452A

Scotsman Ice Flaker Machine AF103The Scotsman Ice flaker AF103 superceded the AF100 and with this upgrade came increased capacity. This by virtue of the AF103 now switched to R404a which gave more duty and cooling capacity than it’s predecessor running on R134a. Latterly the R404a has now been replaced by R452A. Refrigerant 404a was a blended HFC (R-125, R-134a, and R-143a). Initially brought in to replace R-502 and R-22. Albeit a very popular refrigerant it’s use is now prohibited in new equipment. While having a low toxicity and an ODP of 0 (zero) it had a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 3920. R404a is also restricted in pre-existing equipment. Refrigerant 404a that has been reclaimed can still be used for servicing until 2030.

R452A is an excellent drop-in replacement refrigerant which maintains the inherent features and technical performance of the compressor.

Flake Ice, Granular Ice, Crushed ice or Cubelet Ice?

R452A was developed by Honeywell and Chemoursis and is a non ozone depleting (ODP), non flammable, zeotropic blend. Designed to serve as a lower global warming potential (GWP) alternative to R-404A and R-507. The composition of R452A is R32 (11%), R125 (59%) and R1234yf (30%), the GWP of R452A is 1,945 and is less than half the GWP of R404A so is far more environmentally friendly. There are numerous types of flaked and cubed ice across the Scotsman Ice flaker and cuber range.

There is often confusion around the myriad of different references to ice such as flake ice, granular ice, crushed ice and cubelet ice. Granular ice is flaked ice, no more than differing terminology. Crushed ice is more widely associated with ‘ice crushers’ where cubed ice is taken from an ‘ice cube maker’ then crushed. While this represents a slightly cheaper option and would typically be a crusher introduced separately the quality is debatable, some of the crushed ice taking the form of ‘shards’. Cubelet ice is more associated with the self dispense table top units such as the Scotsman TCS 180. This cubelet ice still made via an auger and enclosed evaporator but with a top extrusion.

Understanding Scotsman Ice Flaker Self Diagnostics

Scotsman Ice Flaker Control BoardThe 5 sensors serving the Scotsman AF103 ice flaker and other flakers across the range from the AF80 right up to the larger MF modular units serve one purpose. That is to communicate with the control board. The flaker control board, while being a high cost item, serves numerous purposes collated together in to one functional display.

The sensors below all plug in to the control board via varying signals whether it be continuity and/or resistance to display faults and overall ice flaker machine ‘health’. As well as diagnosing faults the ‘too hi cond’ sensor which sits within the condenser matrix also serves to preserve energy and the life of the fan motor by only bringing the fan motor on and off via condenser temperature. This also confirms system pressure (pressure/temperature relationship).

Scotsman - Simag Bin Level Sensor Magic Eye Part Ref: 650674

Scotsman-Simag Ice Level Bin Sensor 650674 Infra Red

The Scotsman Ice flaker ‘magic eye’ infra red sensor 650674 is typically the 180mm (side entry) part. There are 3 differing lengths that being 180mm, 225mm and the larger 310mm sensor (more associated with cubers). The ice flaker magic eye is side entry and will be found either at the top of the bin secured by a bracket or hidden outside the bin clipped to the top of the chute. This (180mm) sensor is applicable to numerous models with differing OEM part numbers as detailed in the product page.

Scotsman Evaporator Low Temp Sensor 620519011, Icematic, Simag and Barline.

Scotsman – Simag 62051901 Low Temp Evaporator Sensor

Low temperature sensors or evaporator sensors can more often than not be distinguished by a long sheath before the sensor bulb. The 62051901 Scotsman evaporator sensor is an NTC sensor (Negative Temperature Coefficient). The probe has a wide parameter (-40c up to 110c) and the bulb is approximately 5mm x 40mm. This low temperature sensor is compatible with numerous Simag and Scotsman Ice flakers and cubers.

Scotsman Ice Flaker Hall Effect Sensor

Hall effect Sensor Scotsman – Simag 62040403

The ‘Hall Effect’ is more a generic term which derives from a scientific discovery in 1879 by American physicist Edwin H. Hall (1855–1938). The 62040403  Hall effect sensor is dependent on the magnetic field around it. This field created via a ‘pick up point’ within the rotor of the motor which drives the (reducing) gearbox.

Scotsman Ice Flaker evaporator Sensor 62040410

Low Temp Evap Sensor Scotsman Simag 62040410

Scotsman 62040410 Evaporator Low Temperature Probe. This is a PTC probe type and bulb dimensions are ø 6 x 50mm, the cable length is approximately 1.6m and has a blue plug connection. This sensor is an older style (older models). This is also referred to by an alternative part number 62010100. Suitable for a wide range of Scotsman and Simag machines. Refer to product page for all models, a selection herewith: AF10, AF20, AF30, AF80, AF100, AF200, MF20, MF22, MF30, MF36, MF41, MF46 etc.

Scotsman 62051900 High Temp Sensor

High Temp Sensor Scotsman – Simag 62051900

High Temp Scotsman Condensing unit sensor 62051900. Please note the Part numbers 620519 03 – 62051900 – 62051903 are one and the same and have been superceded by 62051904. This sensor can be identified as shorter and by a thin bulb secured within the condenser fins. Compatible with numerous Scotsman Ice Flakers (AF80, AF100, AF103, AF20, AF200. MF 26 and MF 36) and cubers. All sensor plugs are colour coded and correspond with the female plugs on the control boards.


Overall, the Scotsman AF80 and AF103 ice flaker machines are efficient and reliable units that can produce large quantities of high-quality flake ice for use in a variety of settings. Whether used in a restaurant, bar, or hotel, these machines are designed to meet the needs of businesses that require a consistent and reliable supply of flaked ice. This post has not been put together as a part DIY course but in order that you, the client/consumer, can better understand your investment. All work should be carried out by a suitably qualified engineer with an in depth knowledge and experience of the Scotsman Ice Flaker. Any access to the refrigerant and/or the refrigeration system must be carried out by either an FGas or REFCOM registered engineer.

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