Innovation Award entrant – Mirage Ltd
A Stoke-on-Trent engineering company that started in the garage of its Managing Director now works with some of the biggest automotive companies around the world and its latest innovation is set to be ‘a global game changer’.
Mirage Ltd, which now operates out of a 5.2 acre site in Burslem, specialises in bespoke automated machinery for clients like Toyota, Bentley Motors and Honda.
The team of 18 staff design and build bespoke machinery. They are constantly innovating for their clients and rarely build the same piece of machinery twice.
Network Rail approached Mirage about exploring the possibility of induction welding of rail.
“It is possibly the most exciting innovation the industry has seen in the last 25 years,” said Mirage’s Managing Director, Nick Mountford.
“Network Rail’s current certified methods of joining continuously welded rail are outdated, high risk and potentially dangerous; far from aligned with the care for safety, for community and for the environment that we see elsewhere in the sector.
“Our innovation is a paradigm shift solution that’s set to displace a significant proportion of conventional methods.”
Mirage’s induction welding process is non-sparking and controlled by automotive-industry standard control systems. Rigorous destructive and fatigue testing has shown Mirage’s induction weld is stronger and more resilient to fatigue than the parent material it’s formed from. It’s also super-green with low energy consumption and zero waste to landfill.
Nick says the non-sparking technology has untold potential applications including welding in wet and arid climates, tunnels and underground.
Mirage is already collaborating with heavy haul and mining companies, including with the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Nick added: “We have a solution that wins for safety, quality and the environment. This is a UK innovation which will be a global game changer. Induction rail welding is a massive step forward for the rail industry.”
Mirage Ltd has entered the Innovation Award category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.