User Story

Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. : Vero International

Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. supplies its customers with special machine tools and services for the world's metalworking industries. The company's applications abound in aerospace, heavy machinery, machine tool, automotive, and other manufacturing industries. Its Manufacturing and Engineering Services Division in Rockford, IL produces and manufactures molds, die machining, and aerospace machining.

Bob Ponikvar is project manager. He says that every project has its challenges including time constraints. A few years ago, he and his colleagues realized that in order to remain competitive, it was essential to migrate from conventional machining to true, high-speed machining. Simultaneously, they reviewed several software packages that facilitate high speed machining including Machining STRATEGIST from Vero International (Wixom, MI).

"We selected Machining STRATEGIST because it allows us to utilize all of our high speed machining techniques and our high speed machines. We are in the business of producing and manufacturing high speed machines with spindle speeds of up to 24,000 RPM and feed rates of up to 1,200 inches per minute. The methods that Machining STRATEGIST uses to produce the tool paths are very conducive to the high speed machines," says Ponikvar.

Meeting requirements
In order to supply the mold and aerospace machining finishes that are required, Ponikvar and his team conduct extensive investigation of tooling and machining techniques. "We apply a lot of high speed techniques almost 100 percent of the time. That effort gives us the high quality finish and accuracy required," Ponikvar notes. Typical Ingersoll molds and aerospace machining are comprised of contoured surfaces that require polishing. "Customers do not want to take the additional time necessary to polish them. Machining STRATEGIST allows us to generate accurate and highly polished surfaces."

Recently, Ponikvar and his staff produced a series of vacuum-form molds machined in aluminum. The molds are used to generate clear plastic food containers as found in grocery stores and restaurants. "The mold itself may contain up to 16 cavities to produce 16 parts at one time. The molds require a lot of machining with very small, detailed surfaces. We used Machining STRATEGIST to produce a surface finish that needs very little polishing. The software, along with our high speed machine, we reduced the time it took to machine the part and the overall cycle time. It was a very satisfying experience," Says Ponikvar.

In addition, he notes that Machining STRATEGIST is very useful in the quoting process. During the bidding phase, Ponikvar must determine machine time to complete a project. "It's essential to calculate the number of hours it will take to machine a part. The customer provides a 3D model, and using Machining STRATEGIST, we can create enough tool paths within one hour to determine how many hours and feed rates it will take to machine the entire part," Ponikvar explains. "As a quoting tool, Machining STRATEGIST is so easy to set up and use. Being able to quickly and accurately quote a job gives us a sense of confidence."

User-friendly Machining STRATEGIST can run on the same computer that is being used for other work. "We can work on other projects using the same computer that is running Machining STRATEGIST. The software allows for multi-tasking. All the users like the product because it is simple to use yet is very powerful," says Ponikvar. The Ingersoll Machining STRATEGIST users are very proficient using the software, pushing its features to the maximum. The product is easy to learn with a day or two of practice. The company purchased the software from Solid Tooling Solutions, Inc., Schaumburg, IL, a Vero distributor that also provided training and on-going support for the software.

For more information about Machining STRATEGIST, go to For more information about Ingersoll Machine Tools, go to For more information about Solid Tooling Solutions, go to

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Author: Laura Carrabine

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Page last modified on November 9, 2006
Copyright 2006 by John Stark