Standard Operations :: Frozen Beverage :: Viscosity Controls
Spaceman USA Frozen Beverage machines are operated based on mechanical controls. The viscosity, or thickness, of the product is not based on temperature, but rather a set of controls that determines when the product has achieved a desired thickness. Below is a description of these controls, how they work, and how to verify that they are functioning correctly.
There are two levers on the front of your machine, one that moves horizontally (Torque Lever), and one that moves vertically (Draw Lever).
- The Torque Lever is the mechanical lever that determines the product viscosity when in Freeze mode.
- The torque lever should move freely to the left and right and you should not feel any binding, sticking, or roughness. This lever activates a microswitch behind the front panel. The microswitch should be normally open when the lever is to the left, and closed when the lever is to the right which would indicate that product is at the desired viscosity, or thickness. You should be able to hear this switch clicking on and off when you move the torque lever left and right. This switch should click closed when the lever is just to the right of the center of the dispensing door.
- The Draw Lever is the mechanical lever that tells the machine when product is being dispensed from the freezing cylinder when in Freeze mode.
- The draw lever should move freely up and down and you should not feel any binding, sticking, or roughness. This lever also activates a microswitch behind the front panel. This microswitch is also normally open, and is closed when the draw handle is opened and the user is dispensing product. You should be able to hear this switch clicking closed and open when the lever is lifted about 1/4 to 1/2 of the way up.
- Starting with a clean machine and liquid product that has been recently primed per the manual instructions, place your machine in Freeze mode. If you have a 2-flavor machine, only turn on and verify controls one side at a time. The motor should turn on first and you should see the product agitating. With liquid product, the Torque lever should be toward the left side of the center and the microswitch not engaged.
Note: If the torque lever is near the center or to the right of center with liquid product in the cylinder, either your viscosity setting is too low, or the viscosity spring is too small. Please increase the viscosity setting or switch to a larger viscosity spring. If the motor does not turn on right away, lift up on the Draw Lever to turn motor on.
- Approximately 2-3 seconds after the motor turns on, the compressor and condenser fan should turn on. The air blowing out of the exhaust from the condenser fan should turn warm after a few seconds, this is an indication that your cooling system is working properly. The temperature of the product should start decreasing. You can dispense product every 30 seconds to 1 minute and verify with a thermometer.
Note: If the compressor does not turn on, shuts off prematurely, OR if the temperature of the product does not cool down, your machine likely requires service. Please see the FB: Troubleshooting Controls article for more information.
- Over time, as the temperature of the product decreases, the torque lever should begin moving toward the right. It may not start moving to the right until near the end of the freezing cycle. This is normal.
Note: If the temperature is not decreasing, please notate the temperature readings, and see the FB: Troubleshooting Controls article for more information.
- Once the product reaches the set viscosity thickness, the torque lever will be to the right of center and will close the torque microswitch behind the front panel. This will tell the machine that the set viscosity has been achieved and the compressor should shut off immediately. The condenser fan and motor will continue to run for a while before also shutting off. The motor should shut off 20-30 seconds after the compressor shuts off, the condenser fan may remain on for several minutes until the condenser cools down sufficiently.
Note: On models with a single compressor for both the freezing cylinder and hopper, the compressor may not shut off if the temperature of the hopper is above 42F. In this case, the solenoid controlling cooling to the freezing cylinder will close instead. If the compressor (or solenoid) does not turn off with the torque lever all the way to the right, please see the FB: Troubleshooting Controls article for more information.
- Once the motor has shut off, open the draw valve, and dispense a large serving (8-12oz). When the valve is opened, the draw switch should be raised and engage the draw microswitch behind the front panel. The motor should turn on immediately and the torque lever should be somewhere around the middle to the right. As you dispense product, the torque lever should gradually move to the left and open the torque microswitch. This should tell the compressor to turn on and repeat the cycle (Steps 2-4).
Note: If lifting up on the draw lever does not turn on the motor, please see the FB: Troubleshooting Controls article for more information.
- If you have reached this point, then the control system and electronics on your machine are working correctly. If you have a 2-flavor machine, repeat steps 1-5 on the opposite side of the machine. Be sure to turn OFF the side that is not being tested. If your product is still soft, or the temperature of the frozen product is still a little too high, then your viscosity setting likely needs to be increased slightly, or you may need to switch to a stronger viscosity spring. Please refer to your operator manual for increasing viscosity.