I held off on emailing last week as we were busy tuning, testing, wiring, cleaning, testing, testing and testing our machinery.
Today we are now officially accepting orders for our non-medical Made in Canada masks! Our Canadian Medical Masks will launch in a few weeks.
In continuing to be as transparent as possible, I thought I would share with you some of the lessons learned over the last weeks as we brought in our machinery.
Oh…Naive Peter Pan
I am not the smartest guy, but also not the dumbest guy (at least I think). But somewhere in the back of my head, I was hoping my mask machinery would show up, be plugged in and voila. I knew that is not realistic but I had hoped it was close to that. Wrong. Totally Wrong.
When you buy machinery (of any size into Canada from another country), it does not matter if it comes from China, England, Australia or even the US, but it has to be inspected for electrical and safety. That I knew.
But that little part I knew turned into an expensive and time consuming web of trained electricians on-site wiring and rewiring and rewiring our machinery to meet Canadian safety standards.
It is not that the machinery was bad or had issues – quite the opposite – everyone that has inspected our machinery has been impressed with the quality and how it works. However, as it arrived, it just did not meet all our strict standards. The inspectors have been understanding and quite informative, but that lesson continues to hurt both in time and my pocketbook. But it is 99% done and will be completed in a few days.
As part of the inspection, in addition to wiring, work safety is a concern and addressed with something called guarding. Basically, making sure someone does not stick their finger or hand or whatever in the machine and get seriously hurt.
Again, something I am very aware of and agree needs to be addressed. The machinery has been inspected with a fine tooth comb my qualified engineers to ensure it is as safe as possible. In the coming days we are adding plastic shield guards and electronic sensors that as you cross into the machine, it turns off. Honestly, super cool, absolutely needed, but oh so expensive (and not originally budgeted for by me).
I fully realize I am not the only crazy person bringing in mask machinery into Canada or the US. But in anything we do, I want to ensure that the product we sell, make and in this case put on a face are made with the highest quality possible. As such, I decided to invest and encapsulate the mask machinery in something called a clean room.
Our clean room is a set of custom pre-fabricated walls and ceiling tiles that meet ISO-8 standards. The clean room comes with filters that constantly clean all the dust and particles out of the room through multiple HEPA filters.
To ensure the room is clean from all sides, we had to epoxy the floor and walls with a food-grade material. This was another step to ensure everything was done right.
The clean room is currently being installed and will be completed in the next days.
In addition to all the above, I sort of need the machine to actually run.
I was fortunate to find a great local installation company that has been key to be tuning and fine tuning my machinery. We would find little things here and there that had to be tweaked. Sometimes the littlest thing would set one of the machines off or the material would fold funny. All things in the process, costly but warranted, just not as quick as I would have wanted.
But…at the end of the day, we can now make masks and they are proudly made in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
We do non-medical masks available today on our site. These are the first few thousand that came off the line with our goal to make 1-2 Million per month moving forward. Now we are in the mad rush to fill big and small orders and hiring upwards of another 10 people to learn and work the machinery for 3-4 shifts. More crazy times ahead.
Oh. One More Oh…Prices.
As we launch our Made in Canada collection, we have dropped prices on all our imported masks to ensure you are always getting the best prices out there. You can check them out and please forward our website or information to anyone that you think needs masks that meet the highest of standards at a fair price.
As always, thank you. Stay Safe,
(some pics below of this week’s machinery progress)