ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Although we think a Stateline manufacturing company was short-changed in this year’s Illinois ‘Maker’s Madness’ competition, workers there are still collaborating on some pretty cool projects.
We were at the Ingersoll Machine Tools’ groundbreaking ceremony as the company starts construction on its latest endeavor.
Ingersoll Machine Tools will be looking to tackle a project that’s out of this world. The Forest City is going to have a major hand in helping create the Giant Magellan Telescope.
“This is going to be the best thing built in Illinois in a long, long time,” said CEO Chip Storie.
Ingersoll Machine Tools is expanding. Its North Main facility in Rockford will grow by 40,000 square feet by adding two new buildings. The extra space is needed for a pair of major projects.
“We’re going to be installing a large six-axis Ingersoll gantry machine to support our work for the U.S. Navy it will be the largest machine tool installed in the State of Illinois,” Storie said.
The other large project is the construction of a mount for the Giant Magellan Telescope.
The mount is an 18 hundred-ton structure that secures the 7 giant mirrors of the telescope each mirror is 27 feet in diameter,” explained Dr. Robert Shelton, the president of GMTO. “This is why we selected Ingersoll to build the telescope mount, which is the single largest component of the giant Magellan telescope. It is the heart and soul of the telescope. If the mount works, the telescope works.”
Storie says this almost ten-year long project will open the door to new opportunities.
“We’re going to be looking for mechanics. machinists, electricians, engineers, project managers we got a whole host of needs,” said Storie.
Although the company is in the early stages of the project, leaders say they’re excited to make history.
“The telescope will ship in 20-27 and it will take two years to install it in Chile so it’s a pretty long project… it’s going to be a ten-year project from start to finish,” Storie said.
“Give humanity the chance to find answers to the origins of our universe and to whether life exists elsewhere in the universe,” added Dr. Shelton.
Ingersoll’s CEO says they are looking to add 20 new employees by the end of 2021.