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Mirage insight: Testing portable machine tools to ensure quality



On-site machining work can be required for a number of reasons and the stakes are high in the majority of cases. For example, production might be held up at a petrochemical plant, an offshore facility, or at power generation plant where a turbine needs maintenance.

Therefore, any onsite machinist will need total confidence that the machine tools specified will get the job done safely and efficiently. That’s why all Mirage manufactured products undergo a thorough inspection and pre-use testing process before being signed off and dispatched to the customer.

But what does this actually involve? below is just a selection of some of the checks made that helps ensure we only manufacture quality portable machine tools.


These checks are carried out across the full product range

  • Bolts, screws, all components are locked tightly
  • Gearbox is greased
  • Air/hydraulic hose connections connected and checked
  • No sign of leaks of either hydraulic fluid, or air
  • Labelling (Safety, CE and ID plate)
  • Box contents checked against the relevant packing list


Flange Facing Machines

  • Attach machine onto test flange
  • Gearbox checked, including free movement of gear selection
  • Smoothness of rotation throughout the speed range
  • Engage coarse feed at slow revolutions using 0.010” cut
  • Increase revs to ¾ full speed and check again
  • Machined finish checked for ‘ripple’ and ‘weave’
  • Repeat the above using a cut of 0.004”
  • Reface full width of flange and carry out flatness test
  • Check the boring function: 25mm down and 25mm up
  • Clean the machine and check for damage

Hot Tapping Machines

  • Engage cutter and observe direction
  • Engage flow control to slow down and speed up rotation
  • Check operation of auto feed
  • Slowing down and speeding up directional feed (where included)
  • Check operation of counter
  • On CHT and VHT hot tapping machines: check calibration of counter
  • Clean the machine and check for damage

Line Boring Machines

  • Attach machine to test piece
  • Check smoothness of rotation throughout the speed range
  • Check bar RPM
  • Check gearbox for heat generation
  • Check feed engagements and directions
  • Check operation of hand feed
  • Check drive bar clamps
  • Test machine using both coarse and fine cuts
  • Check tools in pockets and adjusters
  • Check for backlash
  • Clean the machine and check for damage

Portable Drilling Machines

  • Run the machine for 20mins and check for overheating
  • Hand feed the spindle up and down and check for smooth operation
  • Check fit of all motors provided
  • Drill test hole into EN8 steel
  • Check the arbor fits into the machine correctly
  • Measure any backlash on carriage and if necessary make adjustment
  • Clean the machine and check for damage


  • Wind handle checking for tight spots and obstructions
  • Check rail run out to arm
  • Check rotation and feed
  • Check arbor fits correctly


  • Check carriage traverse is smooth front to back of rails
  • Assemble Check gantry frame and check square within = or – 0.5mm
  • Check alignment and length

Orbital Milling / WP machines

  • Similar checks as flange facing machine test plus checking operation of hydraulic base on WP models
  • Flatness check using magnetic dial indicator

Pipe Bevellng and Cutting Machines

  • Add machine to test pipe, place each half of machine around pipe, engage dowels, tighten swing bolts
  • Tighten top rotating section clamp bolts and check final adjustment of jaws
  • Fit motor and run for 10 minutes, checking for over-heating
  • Attach tool posts, set striker, rotate machine slowly and check in-feed at full rotation speed
  • Insert cutters and hand wind to pipe. Check feed peg is slid forward to cut pipe.
  • Carry out test cut

Diamond Wire & Band Saws

  • Check carriage traverse is smooth front to back of rails
  • Check smooth operation of drive
  • Check smooth operation of gearboxes
  • Run with hydraulics connected
  • Check fit of blade and tracking. Run at full speed

Hopefully the above demonstrates how much importance Mirage places on product quality. Results from our monthly aftersales surveys we introduced in 2016 are encouraging, but we are always looking for new ways to improve our products and customer service levels. If you have any feedback which would help us improve get in touch here. We also invite you to read our Quality Policy.

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