Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Ingersoll Companies in Rockford, IL

Ingersoll Machine Tools: (Satellite)
Ingersoll Cutting Tool: (Satellite)

Winthrop Ingersoll assumed control of a milling machine company in Cleveland, OH in 1890. In 1891, he "relocated to Rockford, Illinois, one of the country’s burgeoning new industrial centers. Ingersoll’s first Rockford plant, which employed 19 people, cost $12,000." In 1903, "Ingersoll creates the worlds largest Milling Machine for General Electric. It weighs 400,000 lbs and represented a major accomplishment for such a young upstart company. The Great Depression didn't slow Ingersoll down. In 1935 Ingersoll builds one of the first machines to automatically transfer engine blocks from one machining station to another." [history]

Per a comment below, in the early 21st Century, "the company split into two separate companies, Ingersoll Machine Tools and Ingersoll Cutting Tools Company."

Some of the videos indicate that they can also replace the milling head with heads that can do 3D-printing, inspection, and adding layers to build carbon fiber (composite structure) parts.

I learned about Ingersoll Machine Tools from a Facebook posting of 1947 photos that I include at the end of these notes where there should be space in the sidebar for the original sized images. The company has a Facebook page. That page has this video that demonstrates the "Largest Gantry AFPM."
Screenshot @ -1:22

I never did figure out what an "AFPM" is. I doubt it is the Google search results of "American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufactures." I think the "music" in that video is painful. I sat through the audio once to confirm that no information is lost by hitting the mute button.

This video shows they machined the pressure vessel for the Orion Spacecraft. There is no need to mute this video because it doesn't have any audio.
Screenshot @-0:14, cropped

(new window)  A video about a solar telescope they evidently built. It has a pleasant sound track.

Lost Illinois Manufacturing posted
1956 and what was proclaimed the largest mill in the world, Ingersoll and its bridge mill in Rockford.
Jim Ritchie .. what Ingersoll did and HOW they did it will never be replicated under one roof again ....Joseph Kole Overnite Transport Co...Now a UPS Co.Jim Ritchie piston turning machines - tank turrent / body milling machines - air craft wing spar mills - composite tape laying machines - oil well pipe turning machines - aluminum scalpers - milling machines for machining steam turbine shells - high speed routers for machining airplane composite floors - milling machines for automotive body dies - milling machine's for rough machining in steel mills - locomotive engine block machining systems - drilling systems for air craft wing structures - linear motor ( they built there own ) high speed aluminum routers with 30 - 40000 rpm hydrodynamic bearing spindles ( also built their own spindles ) - custom cutter bodys for the machining systems they built.Jim Ritchie Adverage part lot size in the machine shop was 3 -------- % 70 which will never be repeated againJim Ritchie Style of mill in the picture .. table was a hydrostatic lift .... part weight limits available the other side of 200000 lbs .... overhead crane capaticy usually was the determining factor. ( your responsible for the foundation )
The following three videos were suggested by Jim Ritchie.

(new window)  A lot of scenes are rather confusing. But some are very informative.

(new window) At 1:55, the robot arm I had noticed started working. Look at its rack of cutting tools that it can choose from. These videos make me appreciate that I do a pretty good job of holding a camera steady during a video.

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Lost Illinois Manufacturing shared three images from the 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia.



Lost Illinois Manufacturing shared
Josh Franks They did just make a 3D printer that produced the largest 3D scale product in the world. It was a boat made by a university in Maine.
Kevin J Ross Michael Hilstad massive engine block on right side of picture. Possibly for a locomotive?

Lost Illinois Manufacturing commented on Kevin's comment
Good eye. I missed that. Probably a Diesel for a locomotive. 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia ad.


  1. Thank you for sharing informative videos and images of CNC Machines.
    CNC machines are the new technology and help to achieve accurate and faster outcome

  2. I stumbled upon this blog while searching for old news articles about Ingersoll. I currently work for Ingersoll Cutting Tools Company in Rockford, Illinois.

    It seems there is inaccurate information on this page. The company you are talking about that was moved to Rockford, IL from Cleveland- was called at one point Ingersoll Milling Machine Company. In the early 2000's the company split into two separate companies, Ingersoll Machine Tools and Ingersoll Cutting Tools Company- The cutting tools company became part of IMC group in 2008

    Ingersoll Machine Tools is located on Fulton Ave and Ingersoll Cutting Tools is located across town on Lyford Rd. The two companies are no longer affiliated.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to provide this information. I have updated my notes.

    2. Ingersoll cutting tool company was ingersoll cutting tool division up to the mid 1980s when it became ingersoll cutting tool company. Ray Wood vp finance for the machine division became first president of the newly formed cutting tool company. I worked there from 1969 thru 1986.