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Louisville factory building machines to make N95 masks

Craig Machinery & Design in Louisville has been building machines of all kind since owner Craig Rabeneck's dad opened up shop in the '70s.

The company has halted most projects except one.

Craig Machinery is currently building machines that make N95 masks amidst the worldwide shortage. He said this project is the most important one they've ever taken on.

A machine like this one usually takes up to 14 weeks to design, build and ship, which the company does all in-house at the factory on West Magnolia Avenue.

Rabeneck and his team got the first three mask machines completed and shipped in less than three weeks.

The full order is 50 machines. Rabeneck said one machine makes eleven masks per minute.

It ultrasonically welds layers of a mask together and forms a mold shaped for a close facial fit.

"We're basically taking the form of the mask and getting it to the point where they just have to put the straps on it," said Rabeneck.

The company specializes in general automation, ultrasonic welding and vibration welding of plastics.

"Basically what we're doing is taking plastic, heating it and welding it together using vibrations," said Rabeneck.

After the team completes the machine, they run a sample to make sure it works as it should.

"When the customer gets it, they should be able to plug them in the wall, press the buttons and get going," said Rabeneck.

While there are other projects on deck, Rabeneck said those can wait. His team is busy playing a part in potentially saving people's lives. "It's just an absolute blessing we're being used to do this."

There are about 20 people working at Craig Machinery. Rabeneck said this helps ensure all of them have work when many people don't.

Louisville factory building machines to make N95 masks

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