Regular readers of this blog will probably be familiar with our range of portable machining equipment. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes and what it takes to become a successful part of the Mirage production team? Let’s take a look and find out.
The Mirage production team is made up of several different roles, which are either based completely within the factory, or including commissioning work on-site at the end user’s location.
The role of the bench fitter
Mirage bench fitters are responsible for the assembly of each machine module, with each of these being carefully hand built to the specification on a general assembly drawing. These then go into stock, or are used as part of a bespoke project. Typical example machine modules include gearboxes, tool posts, drive units and machine bases.
The number of assemblies each fitter completes on in a single week can vary considerably and depends on the complexity of the item being built. It could be anything from just one large complex item, or several smaller more straightforward sub-assemblies.
What does it take to become a successful bench fitter?
Having both a keen eye for detail and previous experience of fitting or machine build is preferable. All of the current fitters in the Mirage production team are time served apprentices, each with many years of experience gained in the machine build sector.
Working to strict quality and health & safety procedures is essential, therefore each new team member is put through an extensive induction programme covering health and safety and ISO 9001.
Although primarily not a customer facing role, bench fitters need good people skills to work effectively with colleagues from across the whole organisation.
The Mirage way or working is to strive for continuous improvement, which for the fitters means identifying opportunities for improved machine quality and developing more streamlined build procedures.
Production Manager Geoff Bull commented “The culture on the shop floor is best described as ‘very open’, I always advise new recruits to ask for help if they don’t understand. It’s important they can grasp the wider concept of what they’re working on, and can learn from the experience of those working around them.”
The role of the on-site technician
Mirage on-site technicians are responsible for commissioning machines at client locations and also deliver extra support by providing operator training whenever needed. When back at the factory they also work with other shop floor team members on various projects and assist the design team by providing product feedback.
What does it take to become a successful on-site technician
As with all other production staff, on-site technicians require considerable experience and time served as an apprentice. The current team have the benefit of having many years of experience gained building machines with Mirage and working in machining workshop. To succeed in this role also requires strong customer facing skills, the ability to plan ahead and to solve problems.
Typical assignments can vary considerably and may include commissioning of orbital milling machines at wind turbine manufacturers, hot tapping machines on oil and gas pipelines, or gantry milling machines at power generation plants.
Inspection and testing
Mirage pays a great deal of attention to quality assurance at every stage of the production process. The dedicated team work independently from those actually building the machines to ensure a more impartial inspection process is carried out.
All goods received undergo extensive checks, making sure components have been created to specification. Following machine assembly, pre-use function checks (PUFC) are carried out on every assembled machine before these go into stock or are despatched directly to the customer. Finally, packing lists for each consignment are created, checked and recorded, for the benefit of both the customer and the Mirage team.
To find out more about the projects the Mirage team has worked on download one of our case study packs
Find out more about he projects the Mirage team has worked on by downloading one of our case sstudy packs or if you have an immediate need please get in touch here.