Mocon supplies Tibetan pack testing lab

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Water Food and drug administration

Instrument supplier Mocon has taken its business to new heights, literally, by installing two testing units at a Government pharmaceutical laboratory in Lhasa, Tibet.

Minneapolis, US-based Mocon set up oxygen and water vapour permeation analysis equipment at the lab, under a contract with China’s State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has seen it supply 40 units to 20 centres countrywide.

The Lhasa project came with some unique hurdles according to spokesman Guy Wray, who told that the Mocon installation team found working at the lab at 11,450 feet a challenge that “knocked them around” ​when they first arrived.

However, this brief period of altitude sickness aside, the installation was completed successfully.

From a technical standpoint Wray said that: “Barometric pressure is the issue. It is the driving force of the gases,”​ explaining that the OX-Tran 2.21 unit features pressure compensation that “normalises” the results so the are comparable with those obtained at sea level.

Both the OX-Tran and the Permatran water vapour units will be used for the analysis of packaging for pharmaceutical and Tibetan herbal remedies, specifically for high barrier technologies such as aluminium foil.


The SFDA contract followed Mocon’s decision to set up a sales office and laboratory and service centre in Shanghai and to retain Beijing –based Danbell Equipment Company as an agent.

At the time CEO Robert Demorest said that: “We’ve seen first hand that Chinese companies want their technology to match the rest of the developed world. Consumers there are now starting to demand the same quality and safety levels that are found in the West​.”

But, while the SFDA contract certainly supports the idea of increasing pharmaceutical industry demand in China, Mocon’s activities in Asia have not been entirely focused on the country as evidenced by the testing laboratory it opened in India in 2009​.

The facility, which is run by Mumbai-based firm Hemetek, provides barrier and headspace analysis, leak detection and burst testing for pharmaceutical, food and beverage packaging sectors.

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