The idea of masklab™️ took hold in late February, 2020. COVID-19 was beginning to subside in China, but was increasing in strength in other countries around the world. Suddenly, countless factories were being formed all over China and Hong Kong to take advantage of the pandemic. While many had noble intentions, some used sub-standard material and production processes to undercut the market. As a result, the market was flooded with cheap, unreliable face masks.
Our parent company, 3i Corporation Limited, has been in the manufacturing industry since 1998. Our most recent products were in the outdoor furniture and cushions category, which gave us experience with non-woven fabrics, the same materials used in mask-making. With this in mind, we quickly mobilized to secure a manufacturing site in Hong Kong and order mask machines from Taiwan, which in our opinion is the current leader in non-woven machinery. We signed the lease for an old garment warehouse on March 25 and got to work.
Our vision was to create an environment in which mask manufacturing can take place with transparency and accountability. Within 5 days, we had finished the cleanroom air ducts and framing. On April 1, 2020, our two NCM machines arrived and we immediately began assembly. We started test production the following day and sent out our first batch of samples to SGS for lab testing.
To ensure consistent quality, we imported Hong Kong's first in-house automated filter tester. With it, we are able to get BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency) and Delta P (Breathability) numbers within 30 seconds. We use it to test all of our incoming filter fabric and products rolling off the production line.
Our factory underwent cleanroom audit and certification on April 16, 2020. Since then, our two NCM machines have been running full-time, producing between 50,000 to 100,000 masks per day.