Mommy, where do pens come from?

Have you ever asked where does something come from? Like what you’ve eaten today for breakfast or the chair where you’re seated right now?

Well, I’ve always asked it since I remember. I guess my mum is still tired today of answering all my questions.

So, in spite of annoying her once again, this time I took a flight and went to Germany to check with my own eyes from where pens come from. Believe it or not, they don’t come from trees. 

I’ve visited the Learning Factory from Mit Uns Digital!, in Hannover, to know, finally, how I write nowadays without that feather and ink stuff – less classy but definitely more useful. Of course, even the pens industry suffered severals evolutions in the last decades and what I’ll describe next is probably Pen Creation 4.0. We really like the “Something” 4.0.

Mit Uns Digital! is part of several organizations and initiatives like Netzwerk Industrie 4.0 Nierdersachsen and Mittelstand 4.0 Kompetenzzentrum Hannover, the last one created by the Ministry of Economy in NiedersachsenSoon we’ll be giving you more news about the work we’re developing together.

1st Step – Personalisation and QR code: a few decades ago you probably needed another pen to write in a pen. But now you only need a screen, a keyboard and a mouse and you can write and delete anything you want and even customize all the colours. This was our way to celebrate the fact that we won Euro 2016. Portugal doesn’t produce pens like this yet but we give birth to european champions. ⚽

Customised pen

2nd Step – The cradle and registering the job: after the configuration process, comes the “cookie sheet”. It will not go to the oven but it will validate if you have all the pieces to create the pen you’ve always dreamed about.


Pen cradle

3rd Step – Cutting: it has never been so addictive to watch over and over again something being cut like this beautiful pen!

4th Step – Choosing the components: you can choose EVERYTHING, even the spring! No machines here but your fingers do the job too.

Choosing the components

Choosing the components

5th Step – Personalised laser engraving: sorry for the not so sexy blurred video below but I promise you this is amazing. After all you’re leaving your mark in the world (even if it’s a pen)!

6th Step – Quality control robot: they even have their own robot to guarantee that your pen is just perfect!

7th Step – The finished pen: just a pen for some people, THE pen for you. Remember, it’s unique in this world and more than 27 million pens are made everyday. You must be proud.

Euro Champions!

The Main Step – The team: you can possess dozens of robots and machines but these guys have the skill and the good taste to create beautiful pens. Regarding beauty evaluation, humans are still better.

The team

Thank you Mit Uns Digital!, namely Karl Doreth and Michael Rehe, Marian Koller (Netzwerk Industrie 4.0) and Thorsten Schwanert (Ministry of Economy in Niedersachsen) for having received me. We hope to collaborate with you in several ways in the future.  ✌