100 years of writing innovation

Pilot Pen recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. John Johnston, Marketing Manager at the company showcases some of Pilot’s innovative products suited to the warehouse industry.  

Just over a century ago, a young nautical engineer who worked as a professor at the Tokyo Marine Academy noticed a student struggling to use a ruling pen during drawing class.

After this observation, Ryosuke Namiki took it upon himself to improve the pen industry. His desire to create something Japanese that the world would be proud to use led him to develop a brand of ruling pens that had ink stored in-line, and consequently acquired the relevant patent for it.

Namiki’s inquisitive nature shifted to fountain pens. He worked with colleague Maso Wada to create the first fountain pen on 9th February 1916. Two years later, Namiki and Wada established Namiki Manufacturing Company which became the Pilot Corporation.

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’s products are made in Japan using the best quality ink and materials, with an emphasis on end user satisfaction. The focus is on being the best and ensuring that every one of our products is produced to the highest standard.

“I think this commitment to quality above all things is why we have been around for 100 years, and why we will be around for another 100,” John says.

Pilot recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary in Australia alongside World Gratitude Day where the company put up a giant gratitude wall in Sydney’s Martin Place. The wall created a space for people to come and express what they were grateful for. According to John, gratitude is something the company feels very strongly about with marking their centenary anniversary.

“We’re very grateful at Pilot for the public’s support over the past 100 years and we’re are consistently thrilled to see that in spite of the rise in technology, writing by hand is still very important both in personal and business applications,” John says.

A pen for any occasion

John believes there a number of different products across the Pilot range that would significantly help logistics businesses to carry out their daily tasks more conveniently and effectively.

One product range that John is particularly excited about is the FriXion range of erasable inks, which incude pens, highlighters & 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 ink uses three types of chemical compounds that rely on acid-base and temperature sensitivity. When you rub the ink with the hard rubber eraser that is on the top of the pen, the heat from the friction causes the temperature-sensing compound to activate the acid compounds which in turn neutralises the dye and causes it to disappear.

“Having a pen that you can rub out has so many different applications. For example, if you are writing up a schedule or changing rosters. I use this pen all the time and having the ability to erase things when writing up notes has been fantastic, I couldn’t live without it now,” John says.

Pilot has recently introduced the SCA 100 and 400 range of permanent markers that are ideal for industrial applications, John calls the pens tough markers for tough jobs.

“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,” John says.

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 & rich, vibrant colours. They are xylene free and available in fine tip/1 mm (SCA 100) and broad tip/4 mm (SCA 400).

According to John, one the key benefits of the pen are its strong surface adhesion. This means that you can use the pen on a variety of surfaces including cartons, glass, plastic, wood and metal. “You can even write over grease and oil,” John says.

Additionally, the pen boasts a 24 hour cap off life, meaning it will not dry out even if left uncapped for 24 hours. It is also water resistant and comes in a variety of vibrant colours.