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Armbrust American | Better Business Bureau&#; Profile

This organization is not BBB accredited. Medical Supplies in Pflugerville, TX. See BBB rating, reviews, complaints, & more.

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Armbrust American Opens Austin, Texas Facility to Produce

Aug 13, ·Individuals can purchase the American-made medical masks for $ on Armbrust’s website, and the company plans to bring prices down as it increases production. “Our Austin, Texas lab uses automation to turn raw materials into quality surgical masks,” said Armbrust.

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Customers dealing with delays as local mask start-up faces

Jun 16, ·Armbrust American, led by founder Lloyd Armbrust, has a factory in Pflugerville where it manufactures masks. The company says it makes one million masks per day. and we just made …

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Invest in Armbrust American: Bringing Manufacturing back

Armbrust American has financial statements ending December 31 Our cash in hand is $1,,, as of September Over the three months prior, revenues averaged $1,,/month, cost of goods sold has averaged $1,,/month, and operational expenses have averaged $1,,/month.

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Coronavirus in Austin: Armbrust American raises $5M to

May 19, ·Austin-based Armbrust American says it has raised $5 million to ramp up a facility the startup says will produce more than a million surgical masks …

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Best Face Masks: A Guide to Every Type of Reusable

Oct 15, ·Armbrust USA: American made • FDA registered • Surgical Masks No one knows when COVID will end, but with this face mask guide, you will hopefully come out the other side a …

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Armbrust American Raises $5 Million, Opens Austin, TX

Armbrust American Raises $5 Million, Opens Austin, TX Laboratory Capable of Producing Million Surgical Masks a Day in Plan to Bring Strategic Manufacturing Back to the US Read full article May

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Armbrustusa USA-Made Surgical Masks for $75

Dec 17, ·Been eyeing on this and received email this morning: A great deal on real FDA-listed, ASTM Level 3 surgical masks. $75 for masks (That's 25% …

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Coronavirus in Austin: Armbrust American raises $5M to

Austin-based Armbrust American says it has raised $5 million to ramp up a facility the startup says will produce more than a million surgical masks a day. The company, founded in , received

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Here's What it Takes to Make Effective Disposable Surgical

Dec 03, ·Unrecorded. Surgical masks are made out of non-woven polypropylene plastic and use elastic ear loops to stay on a person's face. This gives them a slightly looser fit than N95 masks that tie

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Coronavirus in Austin: Armbrust American raises $5M to

May 19, ·Austin-based Armbrust American says it has raised $5 million to ramp up a facility the startup says will produce more than a million surgical masks …

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Debuting new colors of Armbrust American surgical masks. Photo by Alex Smith. John Hendricks made three large purchases earlier this month, buying up blocs of 15, shares, 26, shares, and

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Best Face Masks: Why You Won't Find Them on Amazon

Dec 09, ·Armbrust USA: American made • FDA registered • Surgical Masks. What’s wrong with “surgical” face masks on Amazon? The answer here is simple: There’s no …

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Are your masks FDA Approved? (Armbrust American) - YouTube

May 29, ·This is a great question. But I think the answer deserves some extra attention. There are A LOT of misconceptions and misinformation about the type of certif

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Aug 17, ·I was looking for affordable, American made surgical masks (because why on earth would you buy a mask made in china?) for when masks are required and found Armbrust American! Excerpts From their website: Medical-grade N95, Surgical …

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Medical Devices

ET Armbrust Donates PPE Stockpile to Curb East African Covid Infections

Sep 30,

Texas PPE manufacturer ships high-quality surgical masks to the Republic of Malawi News provided by Share this article Share this article AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 30, /PRNewswire/ -- As infections of COVID continue to surge across the globe, manufacturing startup Armbrust American is doing its part to keep people safe by donating more than , surgical masks to the country of Malawi, the company announced today. Armbrust American's Texas-based medical mask production facility. Representatives on behalf of Malawi reached out to Armbrust with a request for help in keeping nurses, doctors, and other first responders protected while working amid the pandemic. Located in Eastern Africa, Malawi continues to see community spread of the coronavirus among its over 18 million citizens, including 60 percent of cases coming from high populated cities such as Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, according to recent data from UNICEF . Armbrust's PPE donation is the largest the country has received from a U.S. company. "This donation is a welcome addition to Ministry of Health resources and will help our frontline health care responders carry on the fight against COVID," said Edward Sawerengera, Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to the United States. "I'm incredibly grateful to Lloyd Armbrust and his colleagues for their generosity." "I'm extremely grateful to the thousands of Malawian healthcare professionals dedicated to their country," said Founder and CEO Lloyd Armbrust. "We are proud to contribute these supplies to help ensure that they are protected while serving their communities." Since launching in early , Armbrust American has facilitated regular donations of medical-grade surgical masks to various communities, schools, and other organizations. In addition to Armbrust fulfilling requests for supplies, customers can also purchase donation packs of surgical masks via the company's website. For more information about donations, visit armbrustusa.com/products/masks-for-schools . About Armbrust American Armbrust American's mission is to bring strategic manufacturing back to the U.S. Armbrust is the only vertically integrated PPE factory in America with no reliance on global supply chain, ensuring reliable production output and predictable pricing. Founded in by Y-Combinator alumni Lloyd Armbrust, the company currently operates a factory out of Pflugerville, Texas utilizing a proprietary mix of materials and manufacturing innovation to provide the highest quality PPE at a competitive cost. Visit www.armbrust.com for more information. Media Contact:

Sours: https://www.cbinsights.com/company/armbrust-american
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U.S. Companies Shifted To Make N95 Respirators During COVID. Now, They're Struggling

A machine makes masks in a medical-equipment factory in the U.S. on Feb. When an N95 respirator shortage left hospitals scrambling in , U.S. manufacturers stepped in. Now, some of those companies are struggling to sell their masks. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A machine makes masks in a medical-equipment factory in the U.S. on Feb. When an N95 respirator shortage left hospitals scrambling in , U.S. manufacturers stepped in. Now, some of those companies are struggling to sell their masks.

Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A year after several American businesses sprang up to manufacture much-needed masks and N95 respirators within U.S. borders, many of those businesses are now on the brink of financial collapse, shutting down production and laying off workers.

The nationwide vaccination campaign, combined with an influx of cheaper, Chinese-made masks and N95 respirators, has dramatically cut into the companies' sales and undermined their prices.

And while some call it a normal consequence of a free market, a few business owners say they feel abandoned by the same government that relied on them to help save American lives during the COVID pandemic.

"This is not only a matter of national security but of national pride," a group of them wrote last month in a letter to President Biden asking for government help.

Last year, dozens of companies like Armbrust American answered the nation's call for more domestic production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Using its own resources and without government assistance, Armbrust purchased a facility near Austin, Texas, bought machinery, hired over a hundred workers, applied for a complicated and lengthy certification and started manufacturing.

"We started at the height of the pandemic really, in April, and very, very quickly, in about six months, we were able to scale up to producing about a million masks per day. And today we produce both surgical and Nstyle masks," said Lloyd Armbrust, the founder and CEO.

Business was doing well, until the mass vaccination effort dramatically reduced demand for masks. Now, Armbrust predicts he can keep going for another four months at most, before completely shuttering the plant. "We are down to a skeleton crew on the alternate shifts and just barely a full crew on the main shift," he said.

At the beginning of this year, Armbrust and 27 other small-business mask manufacturers formed the American Mask Manufacturer's Association (AMMA).

"Let me put this in perspective: We have 28 members who are going to go out of business in the next 60 to 90 days, and when they go out of business, it's not like we turn off the lights and mothball these machines. We send them to the dump. That capacity that we created goes away," Armbrust said. Already five of the AMMA members have stopped production, he said.

Foreign dependency

These recent entrants into the mask-manufacturing industry are not the only companies cutting back on production, laying off workers and fighting for a share of a market long dominated by foreign-made products.

A worker at a Honeywell factory in Phoenix works on N95 respirators on May 5, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

A worker at a Honeywell factory in Phoenix works on N95 respirators on May 5,

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Before the pandemic began, about 10 American companies were actively making N95 respirators, according to Anne Miller, executive director of the nonprofit ProjectN95, a national clearinghouse for PPE founded in Larger companies such as Honeywell and 3M also manufactured N95s in factories abroad. All told, fewer than 10% of the N95 respirators used in the U.S. were manufactured domestically, according to industry experts.

In early , China, the world's largest manufacturer of masks, was also fighting the pandemic and nationalized its manufacturing. The U.S. market, which depended mostly on masks from China, was essentially cut out.

"China, realizing that they have a crisis on their hands, restricted the export of all masks to the United States," said Robert Handfield, a professor of supply chain management at North Carolina State University. So, while those companies were still producing, he says, they were forbidden by the Chinese government from shipping the masks to the United States.

To add to the problem, even U.S. companies such as Honeywell and 3M, which manufactured predominantly abroad, faced restrictions. "3M was unable to get shipments from its own factories in China back to the United States because the exports were being prevented by the Chinese government from leaving the country," Handfield said. The inability to get masks from abroad led to shortages domestically that put the U.S. in a precarious position.

The dependency on China and other foreign countries was nothing new, recalled Mike Bowen, executive vice president of Prestige Ameritech, one of the oldest domestic manufacturers of masks in the United States.

In , during the H1N1 pandemic, Prestige Ameritech stepped up production to meet the growing domestic need.

Before the pandemic, larger companies such as Honeywell and 3M manufactured N95 respirators in factories abroad. All told, fewer than 10% of the N95 respirators used in the U.S. were manufactured domestically, according to industry experts. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Before the pandemic, larger companies such as Honeywell and 3M manufactured N95 respirators in factories abroad. All told, fewer than 10% of the N95 respirators used in the U.S. were manufactured domestically, according to industry experts.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"Last time we were stupid," Bowen said. "We believed everyone when they said they would stay with us. We're buying a factory, we're building more machines, we're hiring people, but you got to stay with us. And everybody said they would, but they didn't."

As soon as the health scare was over, the market dried up. The aftermath was harsh — laid-off workers, financial losses — but he survived.

This time, Bowen tried to be more careful.

"It's like people want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have the cheapest prices — they want China prices — but then they want American manufacturers to bail them out when they can't get their Chinese products. That doesn't work," Bowen said. For comparison, one N95 respirator costs about 25 cents to manufacture in China. Producing the same product in the U.S. can cost more than double.

When the COVID pandemic began, Bowen's company was slammed with new orders. His facility uses primarily domestically sourced raw materials, so he stepped up again. He ramped up production to meet the growing demand, adding more machines and increasing his labor force more than threefold.

Now, much cheaper masks from abroad have reentered the market yet again, as China has lifted export embargoes, competing directly against masks made in America. Bowen has six machines sitting idle in his factory.

"They want to have the cheapest prices — they want China prices — but then they want American manufacturers to bail them out when they can't get their Chinese products. That doesn't work," Mike Bowen, executive vice president of Prestige Ameritech, told NPR. Tom Pennington/Getty Images hide caption

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Tom Pennington/Getty Images

"They want to have the cheapest prices — they want China prices — but then they want American manufacturers to bail them out when they can't get their Chinese products. That doesn't work," Mike Bowen, executive vice president of Prestige Ameritech, told NPR.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Susanne Gerson is the executive vice president of the Louis M. Gerson Co. in Middleboro, Mass. Much like Bowen, Gerson has been in the business for years. "We've been in business for approximately 60 years, and we've been making N95 respirators since about So we're a very experienced respiratory manufacturer," she said.

When the pandemic started, Gerson said she started receiving calls personally from doctors in Massachusetts.

"I actually had people crying when I would talk to them on the phone that they didn't know what to do — women doctors who were pregnant and they weren't being provided any protection," she said.

The company made a decision to reconfigure its business from making masks for industrial workers to making masks for health care workers, doubling the workforce on the floor and modifying the facility.

"I think people outside of manufacturing don't understand what it takes to produce a product where we're the most critical part of this whole process and yet we're the most ignored," she said.

"We have not had to lay off people, but if things don't clear up in the pipeline and we don't get some of this confusion addressed, we don't know what's going to happen," she added.

Gerson, like Bowen and others, is calling on the Biden administration to stop the influx of Chinese products.

"We ramped up our capacity to such a level based on what we thought were commitments from new customers and people saying, 'No, we're going to need product,' and being told this by the government and by everyone. And then it's just like, poof, they're not sure," she said.

A New England Patriots jet arrives at Boston Logan International Airport on April 1, , with a massive shipment of N95 respirators from China to be used in Boston and New York. When the pandemic started, Susanne Gerson, executive vice president of a mask manufacturer in Massachusetts, said she began receiving calls personally from doctors in the state looking for personal protective equipment. Jim Davis/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Jim Davis/Boston Globe via Getty Images

A New England Patriots jet arrives at Boston Logan International Airport on April 1, , with a massive shipment of N95 respirators from China to be used in Boston and New York. When the pandemic started, Susanne Gerson, executive vice president of a mask manufacturer in Massachusetts, said she began receiving calls personally from doctors in the state looking for personal protective equipment.

Jim Davis/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Gerson is also calling for more clarity around the emergency use authorization that allowed for the reuse of masks, a response to severe shortages that no longer exist.

"We are required to put that on our packaging by the FDA when we make a respirator — that it's a single-use product. And yet my understanding is they are still being used oftentimes I think what the hospital is doing is they're putting the other mask over the N95 as a way of trying to keep it clean. But it wasn't designed like that," she said.

Larger manufacturers have faced consequences from the shifting market as well.

Honeywell recently announced that it is shutting down production of N95 respirators at two facilities, in Smithfield, R.I., and Phoenix, laying off more than 1, workers. But the company says it has made permanent changes to its structure that would allow for a faster ramp-up next time there is a need. "While we have closed some of our manual operations efforts at two facilities, we are maintaining the automated lines to continue to fulfill orders and can ramp back up as needed," said Honeywell company spokesperson Eric Krantz.

Asking for change

The foreign-dependence vulnerability is something both the White House and members of Congress are well aware of.

Rep. Anna Eshoo has represented California's 18th Congressional District, near San Jose, for nearly three decades. She also chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health.

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, speaks to the media following a hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 14, Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, speaks to the media following a hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 14,

Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

"Shame on us that we found ourselves in the position that we were in, especially at the height of the pandemic and the risk that our health care workers had to take and did take," said Eshoo, a Democrat who has often spoken against foreign dependence on commodities, such as PPE and pharmaceuticals, and lack of domestic manufacturing.

"This is a warped picture of America," she said. "We can do so much better."

The White House says it is working on a strategy for a more resilient pandemic supply chain. And recent legislation signed by the president included $10 billion for investments in additional manufacturing capacity, extended contracts for PPE and more.

Armbrust, like other members of the AMMA, said he knew he took a risk.

"I made a stupid decision, because I'm an entrepreneur and I cared about our country and bringing this strategic manufacturing back," he said. "A bunch of people made bad decisions personally to do something that was right at the time, and that to me is the American spirit."

Sours: https://www.npr.org//06/25//u-s-companies-shifted-to-make-nrespirators-during-covid-now-theyre-struggling
Put that on your face! (American Bling KN95 Mask Review)

Customers dealing with delays as local mask start-up faces growing pains

AUSTIN (KXAN) &#; A local startup featured by KXAN last month has been working to address a nationwide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage, but the process hasn&#;t come without its own bumps in the road.

Armbrust American, led by founder Lloyd Armbrust, has a factory in Pflugerville where it manufactures masks. The company says it makes one million masks per day.

But making those masks hasn&#;t been the issue &#; it&#;s been getting them out to customers.

Armbrust says the original goal of his company was to make and provide masks for healthcare and government entities, while promoting U.S. manufacturing.

For example, Armbrust American has a $ million dollar contract with the state of Texas to provide masks for schoolteachers all over the state.

But by the time KXAN visited the factory last month, the company wanted to serve individuals, as well.

&#;I said, wouldn&#;t it be neat if we could get these into people&#;s hands here in Austin,&#; Armbrust recalled Tuesday.

&#;So we set up a website really fast, and we just made so many mistakes.&#;

Armbrust tells KXAN there were logistical and technical problems that led to shipping delays. That&#;s in addition to the large number of orders the company received for masks.

Armbrust says he set an order limit of one purchase per customer, but not on the total volume of orders received. The company received million orders in the week after our story aired.

In a sense, Armbrust American began suffering from its own success.

&#;I didn&#;t really appreciate the amount of effort that it takes for something to arrive magically on my doorstep,&#; he said.

Bonnie Bryce was one of the customers who watched our story, and ordered 50 masks from the company.

&#;I&#;m 67 years old and I had heart surgery in February,&#; she told us over the phone Tuesday. &#;So my cardiologist advised me to be diligent about wearing a mask.&#;

After placing her order on May 20, she received a confirmation email, but nothing after that.

Many customers have found themselves in a similar situation. KXAN received a number of concerns from people, asking about the company and when they would get their masks.

Still more people reached out to Armbrust American directly. We found a number of negative reviews and posts about the delays on social media.

&#;I thought maybe he got overwhelmed a little bit,&#; said Bryce. After our interview Tuesday, Armbrust informed us that Bryce&#;s order was shipped, with a few extra masks thrown in.

Ultimately, millions of masks had been sitting in the factory the entire time.

The company&#;s automated machines can make masks a minute. The delays instead came with packing, sealing and shipping.

Armbrust explained that automated machines cannot seal and pack the masks without bending them. Therefore, people have to do it.

He says it used to take 10 minutes to box up 50 masks, but the company is now able to do it in 30 seconds.

Armbrust says the original promise was to ship the masks to customers one week after they&#;d placed the order.

He realized quickly he wouldn&#;t be able to make that deadline, due to the huge demand. He says he sent a video out to customers explaining the situation late last month, but believes many people didn&#;t get the message.

&#;I think the lesson is, when you start a company, you need to make sure you have your supply chain ironed out before you go on television,&#; said Bryce.

Armbrust agrees.

&#;I&#;d say the biggest thing I learned was setting the proper expectations for people, and to really understand the entire picture,&#; he said.

The company is trying to catch up now. Armbrust says he is prioritizing orders for healthcare workers and people more vulnerable to COVID, which is caused by the coronavirus.

He added that all orders out of Texas would be shipped out this week, but also understands if people cancel their order.

Over the last couple of weeks, the only option has been to pre-order masks, while the company catches up. Those orders will go out starting July 1.

Copyright Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Review armbrust american

Armbrust American

Founder & CEO, Capital Factory

Invested $, this round

We need masks. We needed them in March. We need them now. We're going to keep needing them for a long time.  We need masks that are Made in the U.S.A. COVID has made it clear that critical manufacturing needs to be based here at home so that our supply chains aren't disrupted when there is a global crisis. There was no where that was made clearer than with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and especially masks. 
It's been nothing short of incredible to watch Lloyd and his team pull this together. Researching machines, bringing them in from around the world, building a factory, then making it better and better every day. Lloyd is true testament to American ingenuity, creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit. I've known Lloyd for almost a decade and invested in his last Y Combinator backed company. He's one of the most driven entrepreneurs I've ever met and that says a lot because I'm one of the most active angel investors in the world. He the good kind of unreasonable – always pushing to make things better, always asking why, never taking no for an answer. I bet on him once before and it's a no-brainer to bet on him again.

Sours: https://wefunder.com/armbrust/buzz
Lloyd's Favorite Box... and it's not even a soft-touch (Aegle N95 Foldable Respirator Review)

Growing up in Duluth, Minnesota, in the s, Lloyd Armbrust always figured he’d work at a factory. His father managed a lime processing plant in the city, which was dominated by manufacturing—until it wasn’t. Midwestern factories withered as companies started finding cheaper labor and supplies overseas. Armbrust instead found work in publishing and then ad tech. At holidays and family gatherings, he would listen sympathetically but somewhat skeptically to his father warn that the US would face a grand reckoning for allowing China to become the world’s factory.

Those warnings echoed in Armbrust’s head in April as he surveyed a 7-foot-tall machine wielding two pairs of sharp steel shears. In an impulsive pandemic project, the software entrepreneur had spent millions standing up a mask factory in Pflugerville, Texas, to meet Covid-driven demand and show that nimble manufacturing was still possible in the US. But the project was going off the rails.

The machine before him, shipped from China, was supposed to snip and attach surgical mask ear loops. It processed only about masks before being hobbled by the failure of a fingertip-sized sensor monitoring its supply of string. It was a common and cheap component—in Taiwan, China, and Japan. In the US, it was unobtainable. Now Armbrust was held hostage by a $7 sensor, taunting him from thousands of miles away.

Production didn’t restart for over a week, while the company waited for sensors to arrive from overseas. “This opened my eyes—I thought, ‘Wow, the US really is behind,’” he says. His father was right about China, he realized: “They have such a tremendous infrastructure advantage.”

After a year filled with manufacturing scrambles, Armbrust American is now something of a success story. The company can produce 1 million masks a day and has supplied Texas public schools and the state of Illinois. It’s part of a mini industrial resurgence in response to the pandemic, as US manufacturers sprang up or pivoted to meet new demand. Ford workers cranked out face shields. Baltimore’s Marlin Steel Wire started making test-tube racks. Now, however, as economic normality and cheap imports return, Armbrust and others fear their hard-fought gains and lessons learned over the past year may be lost.

While others got obsessive about sourdough last spring, Armbrust grappled with the fallout from a vicious cycle of US industry, decades in the making: As imports of goods like masks led American factories to close, incentives to produce materials and machinery domestically also shrank. In turn, factories became that much harder to operate, or open.

A sensor snafu was far from the only problem Armbrust encountered on his entree into US manufacturing. The company had to ship most of its machinery from Asia and hire a translator to decode the less-than-complete documentation, usually written in Chinese. Some machines, which usually travel to much closer factories, arrived damaged in transit.

Materials and manufacturing expertise were also hard to come by. The fabric that forms the filtering layer inside a mask, called meltblown, is mostly produced in Asia. An Armbrust staffer secured an initial supply with a socially distanced deal in a Detroit parking lot. But the pandemic had pushed prices into the stratosphere, and the company soon decided to make meltblown for itself. Naturally, the necessary machine had to be shipped from China. Armbrust paid consultants to fly there from Germany to inspect the machine before its long journey to Pflugerville.

When the foot-tall machine arrived, one engineer noticed with concern that there was no platform for accessing a part high off the ground that required regular maintenance. The supplier recommended wrapping the machine in chicken wire and having workers clamber up as needed—something Armbrust feared would be frowned on by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “We were like, ‘We can’t do that, people could die if they fall off,’” Armbrust says. “They said, ‘Oh they usually don’t die.’”

Armbrust also had to halt production over the holidays last year after a failed attempt to use software to monitor and automate production. The Chinese suppliers of the machine’s onboard controllers wouldn’t allow deep enough access to the data. Armbrust American ripped out the recalcitrant components and installed new controllers of its own, from Japan. “We literally learned everything in the hardest way possible,” Armbrust says.

Those hard lessons eventually paid off. The company stood up 11 largely automated surgical mask lines and saw labor costs drop from 10 cents per mask to about 3 cents today. It has another line making N95 respirators. Armbrust American employed people at its peak. Alongside bulk sales to state governments and health systems, the company developed a healthy direct-to-consumer business on its own storefront, including child versions and multiple color options. Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has been spotted wearing a shade called American Denim.

Stories like Armbrust’s unfolded throughout the pandemic as US manufacturers, both established and new, battled disruptions and steep learning curves. “The word that comes to mind is resilience,” says Chris Netram, a vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers. Their efforts have won new interest in the potential of US industry, he says, making it easier to get federal lawmakers to discuss policies such as NAM proposals for tax breaks and incentives for equipment, R&D, and training. In February, President Biden ordered reviews and policy proposals for several supply chains deemed crucial to national security, including for semiconductors and high-capacity batteries.

Things are less rosy in the mask-making business. Armbrust and dozens of other US manufacturers fear their achievements may be washed away as the local economy and global supply chains rebound. As members of the newly formed American Mask Manufacturers Association, they requested more help in a letter to the White House last week, complaining that China is now dumping masks and respirators on the US.

The group says Chinese masks now sell for as little as a penny apiece in the US, despite raw materials costing at least three times that price. It predicts that half its collective production capacity will be lost within 60 days without federal intervention, such as the FDA reversing emergency authorizations of some overseas PPE, or requirements that federal PPE funding goes to US-made masks.

“No one in the US is going to get rich making masks,” Armbrust says. He’s hopeful the US will be willing to spend on supporting domestic production to avoid shortfalls in future crises, but says some scaling back is inevitable now that the Covid pressure has lessened. His own factory is down to a “skeleton crew” now that demand for masks is falling. Armbrust aims to keep producing masks but has concluded that preserving his own piece of ’s US manufacturing boom requires pivoting. He’s exploring the idea of making air filters to remove airborne hazards from homes and perhaps cars. An American-made brand might convince consumers to pay the premium needed to overcome the inconveniences of US production.


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Sours: https://www.wired.com/story/software-entrepreneur-pandemic-pivot-manufacturing-masks/

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