A year later, the selling features promised in my initial conversations have met with my expectations and in some cases exceeded them.
I found the defrost/flushing system is very effective at controlling odours even after some build up of residue within the cabinet. I cannot smell anything coming from the cabinet after a year’s use.
Another feature is “no melt”. Ice will always melt, nevertheless it is very low comparatively. The base ice layer has negligible melt, any ‘capping’ ice (on top of product) does melt but only slowly. As a reference, we have a 200kg a day flake ice machine that easily keeps up with 4m of ice displayed Arctic Merchandiser including set up ice and with plenty of ice still left at the end of the day (we always throw out left over ice at the end of the day).
In my opinion, there is minimal “dry out” to the seafood, not no dry out. Dry out is similar to other low TD design cabinets such as a gravity coil type or properly designed fan forced cabinet. Having said that, given this is a fan forced design, I have yet to see any other fan
forced design with as low dry out as this cabinet. We still need to hose the product throughout the day to keep it looking ‘just caught’ as is our preference.
I have not had a single defrost issue. Temperature change after defrost is very low. The ‘fog’ you get during defrost was a surprise. As promised, it is very much “set from factory and forget”. I have also had no problems with temperature control.
The open topped design is the gold standard in seafood presentation. The blue/white light combination may not suit everyone’s taste/objectives but I have had this changed to suit my needs.
I can’t really comment on the promoted low operating cost/energy efficient design (in theory the water cooled/defrost design should be more efficient) but I don’t have a power meter to compare to a similar sized unit or a traditional remote refrigerated unit.
After about a year of use I can say the critical functions of consistent and reliable temperature control, low maintenance and excellent merchandisability are now well proven. I have changed the LED to a more suitable colour for my customers. I have found that solid wastes like prawn feet and scales can be flushed into the evaporator and are difficult to remove – however due to the effective hot water defrost/sanitization, these have yet to produce any smell. I have also found signs of surface rust in the undertray (where the fan cover rests on the undertray, metal to metal contact), at this stage it is not possible for me to tell if it will degenerate into something more serious. The ‘misting’ system we do not use at all, as we find a traditional hose down of the product is much faster and more effective.
Additionally, my install had tight dimensional requirements, custom design and a strict schedule. These were difficult to manage with Austmarine. My experience is that the premium cost of this equipment is all in the product and performance, I am yet to find anything better in these respects. Extra service and other niceties I come to expect from premium brands may not apply.