“I need a piece of used galvanized screw about 10 or 12 feet long, with trough. Do you have any?” This truly reflects the mind set of too many icemen still caught up in the way it was done in the 1970s. In the past, ice plant design consisted of figuring out what pieces of equipment were needed and connecting them, whether new or used, with some pieces of galvanized screw auger, hopefully used. It was an accepted norm that you had to learn all the “tricks” of your particular plant to keep from jamming up equipment with too much ice and burning up belts, breaking chains, or in some cases, actually laying back the flights on a screw auger from forcing too much ice in at one time. This was especially easy to do with vertical screws next to ice rakes. What a wonderful way that was to convey ice! Eventually some of those designs improved, sanitary consideration began to mandate stainless steel screw augers, and the concept of “used” augers started to fade. But not entirely. And the concept of just connecting the different pieces of equipment seems to still be the norm outside the engineering packages offered by Automatic ICE™ Systems. I’ll admit that when I first became associated with AIS I didn’t understand the terms.“Integrated, synchronized systems.” In fact I suggested to Doug Carpenter that he drop the synchronized word entirely. I thought it was too academic and didn’t say anything of value. At that time I was under the impression that all this referred to was that we had our own manufacturer for our stainless steel augers. Lost on me was the concept of having an exclusive conveying system specifically engineered for each plant. A system in which each auger was part of a total system specifically engineered to move product from the icemakers to bulk storage and throughout bagging. A system in which each auger was tied into an in-house built and engineered control system to synchronize and coordinate all this movement. This was a new concept, but it certainly made good sense! When you take this approach to moving ice and combine it with a focused approach to total ice plant design and integration, you suddenly have received value for your investment. AIS designs complete ice plants focused on efficient and highly productive operations engineered for future growth and expandability. Every Automatic ICE™ System incorporates proven equipment technologies to work as a synchronous, expandable system. We fully integrate each system component utilizing our exclusive AIS Conveying Systems and AIS Control Systems to produce simplistic, trouble-free ice plant operations. You might want to read this paragraph again. It makes sense. It isn’t talking about a cheap piece of used screw; it communicates value for the investment. Gone are the days of learning all the quirks and tricks needed to keep the equipment from self-destructing. Tearing up ice and creating snow can be a part of history rather than current operating procedure. But it is critical that the “integrated, synchronized system” be followed. Call us when you’re ready to invest in the best value instead of a cheap piece of used screw.