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Wind Factory Watch: Ingersoll Machine Tools

Wind Factory Watch: Ingersoll Machine Tools

Guest blog by AWEA Communications Editor Carl Levesque

A business diversification initiative into the wind power arena by Ingersoll Machine Tools, supported by a $5 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will result in the creation and retention of some 150 jobs in Rockford, Ill.

The company announced a major diversification in its activities with the introduction of two product lines specifically designed for the wind industry. The $5 million grant was awarded through the Green Industry Business Development Program, a component of Illinois’s State Energy Plan that is administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and funded by ARRA.

Announcing the news at Ingersoll’s Rockford headquarters was Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D). “We must invest in green projects that create jobs, improve the environment and further our long-term energy goals,” said Quinn. “This important funding will create and retain more than 150 green jobs in the Rockford area and marks another step forward as we continue the fight to strengthen our economy and move Illinois forward.”

Ingersoll is launching the production of a “Wind Blade Demonstrator,” which is used for automating blade production. In addition, in a separate initiative, the company is creating a “Lean Manufacturing Center” that will allow for large wind turbine mechanical components—hubs, nacelles, etc.—to be worked on. The facility will cater especially to those turbines with high rated capacities (i.e., even 5 MW and greater), President and CEO Tino Oldani told Wind Energy Weekly.

The company had already begun producing wind power components “marginally,” allowing it to “understand what you need to do to be the best,” said Oldani.

With the Wind Blade Demonstrator, Ingersoll looks to transfer to the wind industry its proprietary technology and experience in supplying composite manufacturing systems for the aviation industry, the company said.

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Carl has been a part of the AWEA team since 2006. He brings both his expertise in communications as well as experience with the evolving wind energy industry to the job of overseeing AWEA's online and written publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, WINDPOWER Update, WINDPOWER Today, and various print materials. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans employed as a teacher as well as working with homeless youth.

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