D&E Machine Co. in Lebanon, Ohio, is known for its amazing engineering and CNC machining work. But did you know that D&E created and patented a popular type of American-made ice ball machine used by many companies in the high-end spirits industry? We created this custom ice press that exceeded expectations and allowed companies to purchase an ice press machine that was made right in the U.S. without the hassle of finding a supplier overseas.
But what is an ice ball machine and how does it work? D&E Machine explains.
What Is an Ice Ball Machine?
An ice ball machine is a device that takes a small block of ice and melts it into a perfectly round sphere. These ice balls are the preferred way to chill many high-end alcoholic beverages, including whisky, scotch, and bourbon because they melt very slowly so the beverage is not overly diluted.
These are great for high-end restaurants, country clubs, or conference locations where specialty beverages are being served. Patrons want to enjoy a chilled drink slowly without it becoming watering from the ice.
How Does an Ice Press Work?
The machine consists of an aluminum base and cover, and a mold with a hexagonal block of ice is placed on the top of the base. The aluminum transfers heat, due to the weight of the lid, to melt the ice. The base helps mold the ice into a sphere. The machine itself is very easy to use and doesn’t have any moving parts except the lid that drops over the hexagonal block of ice.
Step 1: Remove the cover and place the block of ice in the center of the base. Use caution as the cover is fairly heavy.
Step 2: Put the cover back over the base. The cover with slowly travel downward, and will stop after approximately one minute.
Step 3: Try and spin the cover. If the cover spins freely, then the ice sphere is not ready yet. When the ball is ready you will not be able to easily spin the cover.
Step 4: Remove the cover and use tongs to grab the finished ice ball and drop it into the glass.
Step 5: If you are planning on immediately using the machine again to make another ice ball, run the cover of the machine under warm tap water to warm it back up. Even though the pressure is what makes this process happen, the lid must be the right temperature for the sphere to form correctly within a minute.
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D&E Machine Co. Patent
D&E Machine Co. was first presented with the request from a customer who was looking for an ice ball manufacturer in the U.S., as it was getting costly to order them from overseas. Using CNC turning and 4th-axis machining, D&E was able to have their ice ball machine ready to be patented in only eight weeks. We were the first ice ball press patented in the United States.
Following the patent, D&E Machine owners Kent and Kim Coomer started a new company called Spirits on Ice, where they sell their ice ball machine called the Spirit Ice Vice.
D&E Machine Co. in Lebanon, Ohio
The team at D&E Machine can reproduce or reverse engineer just about anything that can fit within the parameters of our CNC lathe or milling machines. We have many success stories on our website where we exceeded our customers’ needs.
If you need machining services in Lebanon, Ohio, request a quote from us today. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.