Labcon North America was founded in Marin County, California in 1959. Our original name was Ways and Means, Inc. The name given to the company then reflected the newness of the plastics industry. We were founded to literally find the "Ways and Means" to make plastic products. We made several small toys, vials for salt tablets, contact lense cases, cassette tape cartridges, and cigarette filter holders.
Now over 50 years later we have grown to supply more than 1000 products to labs all over the world. We make more than a billion products every year. In the early days Labcon focused on innovative disposable plastics and combined them with the highest levels of quality and service. Labcon developed the first hinged pipet tip rack in 1985. This focus helped Labcon grow at a time when the use of disposables exploded over fears of contamination from even the most minute traces of chemicals left over from the washing of glassware.
Although Labcon is a major supplier of disposable products to laboratories, there had been growing concern inside and outside the company that disposable plastics are too wasteful. From this understanding Labcon in 1995 began to develop products that were unlike anything else the laboratory industry had seen. These innovative products incorporated concepts of "eco-efficiency" using less packaging, recycled plastics, and refillable packages. Many of these new products have won patents and become market leaders. A particularly good example is the Pagoda® and Eclipse® pipet tip reloading systems. These products eliminates 90% of the packaging and waste in typical products of their kind and have spawned a multitude of imitations. The patented Pagoda® system has been a very visible product and has led Labcon into partnerships with several companies to develop even more sustainable solutions for consumable labware.
At the same time that Labcon was working to eliminate waste in the general laboratory many laboratories began to increase their use of robotics. More automated processing, and High Throughput Screening (HTS), consumes labware and generates waste at astonishing rates. Labcon has responded by manufacturing a line of robotics to deliver unique reduced waste labware. These low waste products; both standard and robotic, are marketed under our Earth Friendly® banner.