Pens: A tool for communicating that is here to stay

Members of the public write notes of gratitude at a Pilot Pen event in Sydney.

The humble pen has helped people create, share, and learn for centuries. From enabling ancient Egyptians to communicate, to 7th-19th century Europeans using quill pens with feather handles, pens have been a valuable tool across the globe for hundreds of years.

Of course, pens are much more sophisticated now, with fountain pens, ballpoint pens, markers and rollerball pens allowing people to write on all types of surfaces at a range of thicknesses.

In the manufacturing world, every day processes have evolved as businesses opt for digital solutions and printed applications, but pens and markers remain integral in offering a fast, cost-effective and reliable method of communicating. Celebrating 100 years in 2019, Pilot Pen highlights its journey as a pen maker that supplies stationary to Australian households, businesses and most notably to manufacturers.

For the past 100 years, Pilot Pen has been at the forefront of design and innovation, delivering writing experiences in different industries around the world. All of Pilot Pen’s products are made in Japan using the best quality ink and materials, with an emphasis on end user satisfaction. The focus is on ensuring that every one of the company’s products is produced to the highest standard.

Pilot Pen marketing manager John Johnston said this commitment to quality above all things is why the company has been around for 100 years, and why it will be around for another 100.

He said digital platforms evidently play a role in how messages are received these days, but pens and markers allow manufacturers to write on products with ease and speed.

The company offers the FriXion range of erasable inks, which include pens, highlighters and coloured markers. The secret behind Pilot’s FriXion ink is that it is a thermosensitive ink, so if it heats up the ink will disappear but can reappear when temperatures reach below -10 degrees Celsius. The heat generated by friction when rubbing the paper with the special tip turns the ink invisible. With no damage to the paper, the ink can be erased and the user can re-write over the same surface.

“Pilot has recently introduced the SCA 100 and 400 range of permanent markers that are ideal for industrial applications – tough markers for tough jobs,” said Johnston.

“Perfect for the office, factory and warehouse, or anywhere that you need to permanently make your mark. They have a minimum 24-hour period where the cap can be left off but the tip will not dry out.”

The SCA 100 and 400 series feature the newly developed Controlled Surface Properties (CSP) ink, which is wear resistant and prevents the ink dispersing when it’s scratched. This ensures a long cap-off performance and rich, vibrant colours. They are xylene free and available in fine tip/1 mm (SCA 100) and broad tip/4 mm (SCA 400).

Key benefits are:

• Strong surface adhesion that allows the markers to be used on many surfaces, including cartons, glass, plastic, wood, metal and paper. The markers will even write over grease and oil.

• A cap-off life of 24 hours is made possible with CSP ink, which is specially formulated to ensure the tip will not dry out, even if left uncapped for a day.

• Wear resistance prevents the ink rubbing out or fading from heat, light, water and cold.

• Vibrant colours ensure the black is vivid and blue, red and green colours are bright, which make writing clearer and more visible.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Minimising damage to people’s health and the environment is important to Pilot Pen. The company has made pens from recycled goods since 1997. The pens are made using recycled materials acquired from used household appliances and office equipment.

Pilot Pen also uses recycled materials made from used containers and waste plastic. These are given a new life as the main body components of rollerball and ballpoint pens, mechanical pencils and markers.

Additonally, ink replacement and refillable products have been developed to reduce the amount of non-combustible waste – making products easier to use and improving functionality while also being environmentally friendly.

Johnston said with 100 years’ experience, Pilot Pen is committed to providing manufacturers with products that last and put value on sustainability.