Market Survey for demand of temperature sensitive paints & labels

Article Index

Code No: TMS083 Price: 1470 Category: Health


Table Of Contents :

  • Executive Summary;
  • Introduction-
  • Importance of the topic,
  • Scope;
  • emperature Indicators
  • Need for temperature indicators
  • Types of temperature indicators
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Applications
  • Storage and transportation of vaccine
  • drugs and vitamin formulations etc
  • Sterilization of bottles
  • containers etc. in drug manufacturing units; Frozen / Processsed Food
  • Applications;
  • Industrial Applications ;
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Applications –
  • Demand Estimate ;
  • Frozen / Processed Food Applications –
  • Demand Estimates-
  • Fruits & vegetables,
  • Milk and milk products,
  • Meat & poultry,
  • Sea food;
  • Industrial Applications –
  • Demand Estimate;
  • Market Demand
  • Scenario Building;
  • Recommendations and Action Plan,
  • References






Demand Market Survey For /Temperature Sensitive Paints


Importance of the Topic

Exposure to higher temperatures, than recommended, adversely affects the potency of large number of drugs, vaccines and vitamin preparations. Frozen and some of the processed food items also become unfit for human consumption, if exposed to higher temperatures. The problem is acute in India, where storage facilities at required temperature temperatures at retail outlets, especially, in remote areas, are either not available or not effective. For most of the time, due to frequent power cuts and / or failure, more so during summers, when the ambient temperature, in most parts of the country, during major part of the day is more than 300C the problem gets compounded.

In addition, there are numerous industrial applications where one needs temperature indicators reversible as well as irreversible. Reversible temperature sensitive paints and labels would find applications in the processes of repetitive nature while he irreversible ones would be suitable for endurance tests or applications where one wants to know whether a particular temperature was achieved or not at the end of the process.

The temperature sensitive paints and labels are best suited for temperature measurement, where conventional indicators can not be applied.

The applications of temperature sensitive paints (TSPs), reversible as well as irreversible, and their market potential in India in the subject of the pre cent study.

Need for Temperature Sensitive Paints / Labels

The conventional mechanical, electrical, electronics, pneumatic, hydraulic, temperature indicators do not provide a solution for measurement / monitoring of temperatures for a number of applications. Temperature sensitive paints / labels may the right candidates for such applications. Temperature indicators qualifying for the following contests may be in a position to provide a solution.

  To record the maximum temperature to which on item has been exposed during storage or transportation.
  To record the duration of exposure to higher temperatures.
  To record more than one exposure to higher temperatures.
  To be able to have sensor unit in / alon with each packing.
  Where the indicator units should occupy very little space and be not bulky.
  Indicator unit have to should be commensurate with the cost of the item under observation.
  There is a need for the Indicator unit to remain functional / effective in all the operating conditions.
  The indicator unit should have to be non-toxic, non-reactive to the items / contents being monitored.

None of the available conventional temperature indicators, namely electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic or combination of them, qualify for the above. At the outset, it appears that only temperature sensitive paints are suitable for above mentioned requirements. World over, temperature sensitive labels have been developed for complete temperature range. In India, labels are being manufactured for temperature higher than ambient and the labels for low temperature applications are yet to be developed. Though, temperature sensitive paints hold potential for a number of regular as well as strategic applications, their use and awareness has remained quite limited in India. The possible types of indicators (temperature sensitive paints / labels ) are:

  Go-No-Go Without Delay
  Go-No-Go with Delay
  Time / temperature Integrator
  Real-Time Recorder
  Multi-Temperature : Go/No-Go
  Multi-Temperature with Time Element.

Availability of Tempearture Senstitve Paints/ Lables

A detailed scrutiny of appropriate publication, visits to relevant institutions and discussions held with concerned officials / research workers revealed, that till date, no development work has been carried out in India on irreversible temperature sensitive paints or labels required for pharmaceutical industry. The institution presently engaged in imparting education and carrying research on paint technology are :

Department of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay, Matunga, Bombay.

  Department of Chemistry, Pune Universiy, Pune.
  Harcourt Butler Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
  Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT, Delhi
  Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT, Bombay
  Laxmi Narayan Institute of Technology, Nagpur


Commercial Availability in India

Irreversible temperature sensitive paints for "autoclave applications" are being manufactured in the country by following three companies.

(No information received from the company, in spite of two reminders)

  Johnson & Johnson, Bombay
  Chempack Industries, Pune.
  Anabond Pvt. Ltd., Madras

Chempack Industries supplies these stocks in the packings of 100 and 1000 labels. Each label is provided with an upper half with green colour and lower half blank to write the details like ward no., theatre no., drum no., etc. when autoclave cycle is completed (1200C), the green portion of the strip will turn to black / grey colour.

The current market price is :


Rs.30/- for 100 lable packing.


Rs.190/- for 1000 lable packing. (Government rate contract)


Rs.250/- for 1000 label packing for market.

It is learnt that Johnson & Johnson are marketing their labels @Rs.275/- for 500 pcs.

A copy of Chempack Industries literature for "Autosignal" – autoclave labels is given in Appendix –II. It is understood that these are being directly supplied by the manufacturer to about 50 hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Besides, the product is being sold throughout the country, through a network of dealiers / distributors.

Anabond (P) Ltd. Offers two products for temperature measurement, the chromopens and the pyrodots (Appendix –III).

Chromopens are color changing crayons to monitor surface temperatures. When marked onto any surface, the color of the mark changes to a predetermined color, when the surface attains the rated temperature. For example, green color crayon changes to blue at 850C. Chromopens are available from 750C to 4750C in convenient intervals with an accuracy ± 20C. They are available in a box containing 12 crayons for specific for specific temperature.

Pyrodots are self adhesive temperature monitoring labels. When stuck onto any surface, the indicating circle turns black irreversibly at the rated temperature. The heat sensitive element is protyected through encapsulation and hernce, can be used in solvent, acidc, ammonia, and vapour environments. Pyrodots are suitable for measuring temperatures from 480C to 2500C and in places, where prolonged heating is encountered. Pyrodots are available in standard packs of 10 stickers, each sticker containing 4 dots of different temperatures. Retail price of one pack of pyrodots is around Rs.12/- .

Temperature sensitive labels for lower temperature ranges, including sub-zero temperatures, have not been manufactured in India so far. However, imported labels are available through the following channels:

  3M labels, through their authorized dealer at Bangalore and also through WHO office at Delhi.

Limited quantities of irreversible temperature sensitive labels (with time delay) being supplied by WHO to vaccine manufacturers are being used by putting in one label per big packing of vaccines. No label is being put in the smaller / individual packs. Some quantities of these labels are also imported by some of the users.

The supplies made by WHO are free of cost. Additional quantity of labels can be had @US$5 per label, which is too expensive for Indian market. Thus, the vaccine manufacturers try to manage labels with free supplies only. 3M literature is given in Appendix –IV.

  Themax thermometer strips manufactured by thermographic Measurements Ltd., UK, are available for temperature range of 290C. Through their dealer M/s. Gomas Systems & Controls (P) Ltd., Bangalore. Thermometer literature is given in Appendix –V.
  Temperature sensitive labels manufactured by the following manufacturers are also available either through direct orders or through a handful of dealers in the market.
  WAHL Industries, C.A., USA.
  Thermo-indicator Co. California, USA.
  Merck, Germany.
  Big Three Industries (Tempil Division), New Jersey, USA
  A.W. Faber-Castell, Stein Bill Nilberg, FRG (It is learnt that they have stopped the manufacture of temperature sensitive paints / labels. However, no information has been received directly from the company).


Applications of Temperature Sensitive Paints / Labels


Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

Temperature sensitive paints have a number of potential applications in health care and pharmaceutical industry. These applications are for:

  Storage and transportation of vaccine, drugs and vitamin preparations etc. (for medical and veterinary applications).
  Sterilization of bottles, containers etc. in manufacturing units.
  Sterilization of instruments, equipments and supplies etc. in hospitals / nursing homes etc.
  Patients’ temperature measurement.

Considering the storage temperatures recommended in pharmacopoeia following application groups can be made for the temperature sensitive paints / labels.


200c to 20C for bulk storage of vaccines except liquid vaccines / antiseras (Oral Polia, Measles, etc.).


+20C to +80C for liquid vaccines / antiseras (DPT/DT/TT/BCG etc.)


100C to 200C for freeze dried preparations etc.


Below 300C for Syrups, Capsules, Ointments, tablets etc.

The market potential (1990-91) for temperature sensitive paints / labels has been arrived at as per the details in Annexure –IV. The potential of 500 kl valued Rs.500 million is based on the production target of drugs / pharmaceuticals for the year 1990-91, as the actual production figures are not yet available.

The broad estimates made by the experts during primary survey, for 1993-94 production level of monitored bulk drugs and expected level of production during 1995-96 are given in Annexrue –V. The corresponding demand for temperature sensitive labels is given in Annexure –VI. Assuming 8% annual growth, the expected demand of T.S.L. would grow to Rs.540 million by 2000 AD.

Based on the projections of veterinary vaccines and biological for 1994-95 and 1999-2000, the expected demand for temperature sensitive paints & labels for this segment works out to around 4000 litre (rs.4 million) for 1994-95 and 79301 (Rs.7.9 Million) for 1999-2000. For details, refer Annexure –XIV).

The estimated potential market in 1990-91, 1992-93, 1995-96 and 1999-2000 for temperature sensitive paints is calculated in Annexure IV. The estimated market potentials for 1995-96 & 1999-2000 are Rs.321 million and Rs.440 million respectively.

The estimated market demand potential of temperature sensitive paints / labels, sterilization of instruments and supplies etc. is Rs.523.40 million for 1994 (for details see Annexure –XVI).

The projected market potential for 1995 and 2000 are 565.27 million and 830 million respectively (Annexure –XVI).

Human temperature measurement :

The broad estimates and calculations (Annexure –XVIII) shows us the following estimated demand scenario.


No. of labels



(Rs., million)







Frozen / Processed Food Applications

Temperature is an important factor in controlling microbial growth in refrigerated foods. Lower the storage temperature, slower will be the microbial growth. Thus, frozen / processed food items are required to be stored at recommended temperatures. Equally important is to monitor / measure the storage temperatures and to maintain them.

The products of concern, are those designed for refrigerated storage over extended periods of time. This category may include frozen vegetables, like peas, tomato, cauliflower, cheese, butter, milk seafood, meat, etc. Although these foods are covered by the Food & Drug Act current regulations do not specifically address this class of products with the same depth as desired by virtue of uninterrupted refrigerated need. There is no mention of any mechanism that can detect, if the product has been exposed to higher temperatures than recommended.

Thus, to have a fool proof monitoring / feed back system regarding maintenance of recommended temperatures throughout the period of storage, temperature sensitive paints / labels are the optimum choice.

Fruits & Vegetables

The market demand potential for temperature sensitive labels works out to be 620 million numbers per annum (Annexure –XVIII).

Even a small percentage of milk that is packed in sachets (1.5%) and converted into packed khoya / paneer (0.5%) would need 1780 million labels of temperature sensitive paints, if all the packs are brought under the ambit of this technology (Annexure –XVIII).

The proposed meat and meat product packs in 1992-93 had a potential of using 165 million labels of temperature sensitive paints (Annexure –XVIII).

We find that frozen / processed food (vegetables, fruits, milk, meat & sea food) items at the level of 1992-93 processing and exports hold a potential to use 3300 M labels of temperature sensitive paints (Annexure –XVIII).

The estimated demand potential as worked out is given below :



1. Processed vegetables and fruits 825


2. Processed milk 2822 4132
3. Processed milk and sea food 859 1502

Industrial Applications

Temperature indicators / sensors are an integral part of all the segments of industry. Recommended operating temperature range is required to be maintained in all processes be it a chemical reaction or operation in a furnace or a welding or even machining operation.

The following applications can be exclusively tapped by temperature sensitive labels.

  Locations / situations a label can be put but where a thermometer or any other temperature recorder would create problems.
  Trails / endurance tests on various machines / process / plants etc. during which temperature rise / decrease is required to be maintained within certain limits. Temperature sensitive labels can be used as "ready to use and disposable thermometers". It would work out cheaper also.
  In continuous working machines including the office automation equipments like compute, where if the temperature rise needs to be contained within a specified range, these labels can be stuck to give an advance indication to the operator.
  As a spin off, these labels would provide an economical, reliable and quick solution to a lot of domestic as well as commercial applications for temperature measurement. e.g. in a present household, one ends up paying rs.60 to 100 (depending upon the location of the house) just to check the temperature for cooling of the fridge. Instead one can buy a thermometer for Rs.100 and check the same.

To make an assessment of number of labels this application would need is quite difficult at this stage, but it can be said that once this application picks up, the demand could run into thousands of millions of labels per year.                               Back


Realistic Demand Estimate

The temperature sensitive paints / labels are yet to be manufactured and accepted in India on a large scale. The experts have projected the following most probable scenario:

  The technology and the product, at the earliest can be developed and perfected in about 2 years, say by the end of 1996-97.
  The temperature sensitive paints / labels can be available in the market for bulk use during 1997-98 and selective use will start by that time.
  By 1999-2000, it would become statutory to use temperature sensitive labels / paints at least for drugs / food items required to be stored below 100C.
  Atleast 50% of the actual production, to be stored below 100C would use temperature sensitive paints during 1999-2000.
  Actual production levels during 1999-2000 would be at least 75% of the projections given in Annexure XXV.

Thus, a demand of Rs.1438 million for temperature sensitive paints / labels can be expected during 1999-2000, for products to be stored below 100C. Product wise and temperature range wise details are given in Annexure –XXVI.

Experts estimate that if proper emphasis is given to the marketing of the concept, product promotion, customer acceptance, consumer awareness and availability of temperature sensitive paint / labels, at least 25% of segment above 100C would start using these labels by 2004-2005. During the same period, the usage in the segment below 100C would increase to 100%. The average growth in the production levels of user industries is estimated at 8% per annum. Thus, a demand of Rs.4532 million for temperature sensitive paints / labels can be expected by 2004-2005. Product wise and temperature range wise details are given in Annexure –XXVII.

Demand from industrial applications would be in addition to the areas projected above and it can be around Rs.200 millions by 2005, as the acceptance and usage is expected to start around 2000 only, after the concept gets adopted for product requiring storage below 100C.

Recommendations and Action Plan

This survey study being a demand market exercise and not a regular techno market survey (covering technology status, technology needs of the industry, options available, evaluation thereof and the implementation plan) has focused on market statistics of user industries, their growth patterns and the market potential for temperature sensitive paints and labels. However, following are the recommendations towards speedier development of temperature sensitive paints / labels and their acceptance / use :

  The development and availability of temperature sensitive paints / labels be expedited.
  Discussions be initiated with ICMR, Drug controller, Ministry of Health and Welfare and Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers etc., to incorporate in the pharmacopoeia, the use of temperature sensitive paints / labels as mandatory requirement (as a part of packing) for drugs, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products required to be stored below 100C and its use be made mandatory for items required to be stored in the temperature range of 100C to 350C.
  Discussions be initiated with Ministry of food Processing Industries, Ministry of Health & Welfare, etc., to incorporate in the Food Packaging Act the use of temperature sensitive paints / labels as mandatory for the products to be stored below 100C and their use is recommended for items required to be stored in the temperature range of 100C to 350C.
  The exported of drugs, vaccines, processed food etc., (that need to be stored below 100C), be informed that the use of temperature sensitive paints / labels on the packing of their supplies would develop immense confidence in their customers in the quality of their product. It would give the exporters an edge over the other global competitors.
  In order to build the consumer pressure on the pharmaceutical and processed food manufactures to use the temperature sensitive paints / labels on the packing, and consumer awareness campaigns be started.
  Industrial segments be educated about the advantageous use of temperature sensitive paints / labels.


The major spin-offs would be :

  The potency of drugs and vaccines etc., would be ensured and thus the effectiveness of medical treatment would improve considerably leading to saving of time and money being spent on treatment.
  Consumption of spoilt processed food items would be eliminated, and thus, the cases of food poisoning would reduce considerably. It would decrease the pressure on healthcare facilities and the involved expenses at the level of Government as well as the individuals.
  It would develop a culture of high quality, high technology and maintenance of infrastructure and system. On top of it, it would develop consciousness towards social responsibility.
  It would give an upper edge to India in the global technology scenario.