Surat (Gujarat) [India], September 13: The Man-Made Textile Research Association (MANTRA), which is one of the leading national Textile Research Associations (TRAs) in the country and is connected to the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, opened the first-of-its-kind Face Mask and PPE Kit testing laboratory at its facility on the Ring Road in Surat.
Rajnikant Bachkaniwala, the president of MANTRA, said, “We had a lot of trouble setting up the lab during the COVID-19 pandemic because we didn’t have the right testing equipment.” Now that MANTRA’s testing lab is up and running, it won’t take long for the makers of face masks and PPE kits to get their samples tested and certified.
According to Bachkaniwala, the demand for PPE and face masks increased significantly across the country due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The textile entrepreneurs in Surat grabbed the opportunity and forayed into the PPE kits and face masks on a huge scale. This led to the need for testing and certification, but MANTRA was not equipped with the equipment and machines.
“In a short span of six months, MANTRA managed to develop the infrastructure required for the testing laboratory. The state-of-the-art testing equipment was imported” said Bachkaniwala.
MANTRA will soon apply for the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) certification. In the next couple of months, the exporters of face masks and PPE kits will be able to certify their products at MANTRA.
MANTRA has spent Rs 2.5 crore for setting up the state-of-the-art testing laboratory. The laboratory is equipped to carry out tests including bacteria filtration efficiency, particle filtration efficiency, synthetic blood penetration test, differential pressure, etc.
“The demand for face masks and PPE kits will not decrease in the coming years. In many industrial units including those connected with health, hospitality, etc., face masks are mandatory. The demand for PPE kits is ever increasing due to various kinds of viruses including Monkeypox striking in some parts of the world” said Bachkaniwala.
Resident Medical Officer (RMO) of New Civil Hospital, Dr. Ketan Naik remained present as the guest of honor at the inauguration of MANTRA’s testing laboratory along with Praful Gandhi secretary of MANTRA, former MANTRA director Dr. SK Basu and stakeholders from Surat’s textile industry.
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