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Ingersoll to Break Ground on Major Expansion of Rockford Campus and First-of-its-Kind Giant Magellan Telescope Mount

31.03.21
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Investments will make way for 540,000 SF campus, creating 75 jobs in Illinois

ROCKFORD, IL - Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc., (Ingersoll), a part of the Camozzi Machine Tool Group, today broke ground on a major expansion of the Illinois campus, to support the construction in part of the new Giant Magellan Telescope Mount (GMTM).  The new expansion will add an additional 40,000 square feet under roof to the current 500,000 square foot campus. The expansion includes both a new high bay assembly space, as well as a new high-bay manufacturing space.   The assembly bay will enable new precision manufacturing space to build the 1,800-ton mount for the Giant Magellan Telescope, one of the world’s most anticipated extremely large telescopes.

The result will be the building and delivery of the Giant Magellan Telescope mount to Chile. The global collaboration between OHB (Germany), Ingersoll’s partner in building the mount, will result in humanity’s ability to look deeper into the universe with more detail than any other optical telescope before. After completion of the mount, the bay will be used to build new machine tools. The contract manufacturing bay is focused on supporting the growing needs of the U.S. Navy. Ingersoll will install one of its own MasterMill, six axis gantries in the new facility. The machine will be powered by the latest Siemens control technology, the Siemens Sinumerik One. 

“The contract machining that we do now is critical to a number of Defense and Space programs.  Ingersoll is in a unique position to use the machines that it sells, to also produce some of the most complex parts in the world,” said Chip Storie, CEO of Ingersoll Machine Tools, Incorporated.  "By using our own products, we are able to support the customers who buy our machines with applications expertise that is best in class.  This expansion is the result of our growing customer base and demand for machining capacity.”

“Ingersoll’s latest investment in Illinois will pave the way to one of the largest and most powerful telescopes in the world, rivaling that of the Hubble,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “We are excited that ‘made in Illinois’ will be part of this important new program. Investing in cutting edge technology that’s manufactured here will expand new jobs opportunities for our state. Ingersoll is an important part of our manufacturing base, and thanks to our state’s top-notch talent and infrastructure companies continue to choose Illinois as their future home.” 

“This expansion of Ingersoll’s Illinois campus builds on our long history of manufacturing being a key pillar of the state’s economy.  Illinois has all of the assets needed to meet today’s demands and to support the growth of innovative projects like this one,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. “Under the leadership of Governor Pritzker and his 5-year economic plan, Illinois is making investments in our communities that will keep the manufacturing industry competitive and poised to grow in the future.”

“Ingersoll Machine Tools epitomizes Rockford’s history of innovation and excellence in advanced manufacturing, said Mayor Tom McNamara, city of Rockford. “This groundbreaking event not only kicks off the exciting Magellen Telescope construction, but is an investment that represents Ingersoll’s long-term commitment to growing and providing high quality job opportunities in Northwest Rockford.”  

Ingersoll is working with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and its Local Workforce Investment Area, Rock Valley College, to recruit talent for newly created jobs.   Working in tandem with the State and college’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, Ingersoll will explore support for a tailored workforce strategy including on-the-job training and upskilling workers to meet the evolving manufacturing advances and demands related to their growth. The project is targeted for completion in early 2022.