Why are Detectable Pens important? 

The FSA Incidents and Resilience Annual Report for 2021/22 stated that in the UK alone, there have been 2,336 food and food safety incidents. These incidents have resulted in 150 alerts and 66 product recalls. The report also revealed that plastic contamination continues to be the highest reported category for foreign body contamination. With this in mind, we believe it is more important than ever for you to be taking a closer look at the small and moveable items in your factory. *

Detectable Pens are the perfect place to start as they will be used by most if not all of your operatives. When designed correctly, they can be easy to use, easy to store, and almost impossible to break. However, the wrong pen design could pose a serious risk to the reputation of your brand, along with your chances of audit compliance.  With that in mind, we have put together a comprehensive guide to finding the right Detectable Pen for your factory. In this guide, we will be covering the areas listed below. 

Skip straight to the section most relevant to your needs.

What to look out for when purchasing a Detectable Pen? 

What is the ink life?

We’ve decided to start out with the ink life of a pen, as this area is often overlooked, even though it provides a prime opportunity for you to drive down costs and boost efficiency. Throughout the industry, ink life can vary from 1-2km to 10km of writing length. This is worth remembering when evaluating the cost of your pens, as a pen offering 1-2km may appear to be the more cost-effective choice, when in fact, a 10km pen with a slightly higher price point is the one that will save you money and time in the long run.  

It is also worth remembering that the majority of pens are thrown away before the ink runs out because the ball point has been damaged. Here at Klipspringer, we wanted to help factories avoid this unnecessary expense, so our pens feature a Tungsten carbide ball. This ball is much harder than a nickel or stainless steel alternative, so the chances of it being damaged are significantly reduced.  

What type of ink is used?

It’s also important that you consider the type of ink used in your pens. Say your factory operates at chilled or sub-zero temperatures, a gel ink will ensure the pens work perfectly in these conditions. Alternatively, you may be interested in pressurised ink if your pens need to write on soiled or greasy surfaces. Colourful ink will support the colour coding of your documents, a fine tip permanent marker is ideal for writing on shiny surfaces, and then of course, there are regular ink pens suited to most standard factory applications.  

Is the pen shatter proof?

Opting for a shatter-proof design is a great way to prepare for everyday occurrences such as your workers dropping their pens on the floor or banging them against equipment. Instead of having to deal with plastic splinters that could fly across the factory, your shatter-proof pens will remain intact.

This is also a benefit when it comes to the detection process, as the smaller a foreign body is, the less likely it is to be detected. The ‘rule of thumb’ ratio is 1:10, so a piece of metal detectable plastic typically needs to be ten times the size of an equivalent piece of metal if it is going to register. 

Is it a retractable or non-retractable design?

Another decision to make is whether you want a retractable or non-retractable pen. If retractable pens aren’t permitted in your factory, you will need to select a pen with a fixed cartridge that will stay in place regardless of how much pressure is exerted on the writing point. If retractable pens are permitted, it is still worth ensuring the cartridges in your pens don’t jump out of place. A positive retracting mechanism will make this possibleholding the cartridge in position at all times. You can then enjoy the many benefits of a retractable design, with the nib protected from drying out and the ink lasting longer. Another benefit is that retractable pens don’t need caps, which are considered foreign body risks. 

Does the pen contain metal springs?

Talking of foreign body risks, it is important to find out if your pens contain metal springs. After all, having small pieces of metal present in your factory could result in foreign body contamination and an expensive recall. This is because even the very best metal detectors will struggle to pick up on such a small, coiled piece of wire if it makes its way into your product. This is an unnecessary risk to take when there are pens on the market with a unique cartridge suspension system that provides a firm writing experience without the need for any metal springs.  

Do you require pocket clips or lanyard loops?

Finally, one of the best ways to maintain an effective and loyal workforce is to make life easier for your operatives. Features such as pocket clips and lanyard loops might seem like small details at first, but they will make it so much easier for your team to safely store their pens. This will encourage your workers to feel a sense of ownership over their equipment. It will also reduce the risk of time being wasted as team members search for missing items. 

What sets Klipspringer’s range of Detectable Pens apart? 

Klipspringer's Detectable Pens 

  • Made from shatter resistant polymers 
  • Hygienic design features a smooth and easy-clean surface 
  • Contoured for finger and thumb  
  • P8902 and P8903 pens offer 10km of ink 
  • Quality European cartridges with Tungsten Carbide balls 
  • Unique cartridge suspension that eliminates the need for a metal spring 

Standard Detectable Pens 

  • Easy to shatter and snap off parts 
  • Unhygienic design features a mottled surface that is hard to clean 
  • Difficult to grip  
  • Offer 1-2km of ink  
  • Cheaper nickel balls that are susceptible to damage 
  • Made up of multiple parts including a metal spring and non-detectable plastic 

Klipspringer’s Detectable Pens are available with three different ink types: regular, gel, and pressurised. This allows you to choose the ink that best suits your factory environment. As to be expected from a market-leader in colour coding, we also have a number of options when it comes to the colour of the ink and the housing of your pens. Our ink colours include black, blue, red, and green. Then there are four different housing colours: green, red, blue, and yellow. 

The Klipspringer range also features retractable and non-retractable pen designs. Both options are compliant with food safety regulations such as BRCGS and they are also free from metal springs in an effort to reduce the risk of foreign body contamination. Finally, our pens have been developed to provide the ideal clip design for your specific operator requirements – featuring a lanyard loop either with or without a pocket clip. 

Whether you are interested in the money saving potential of our 10km ink pens, would like to learn more about our unique cartridge suspension system, or have an added interest in the highlighters, permanent markers, and drywipe markers also in our detectable range, the Klipspringer team would love to talk to you! 

* Statistics from the FSA Incidents and Resilience Annual Report 2021/22

If you would like further guidance relating to the pens at your site, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help. Share your details below to arrange a free consultation.