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Ball Point Pen Refills


  1. Product Description: Ball point pen refills are the transparent plastic or metal tubes which contain the ink of a ball point pen. The refills are made to replace other refills when the inks inside the “old” refills are exhausted. The main advantage of using refills is that the consumer can use the ball point pen (the holder of the refill) for a longer time than the disposable type of a ball point pen. In this way, the consumer saves money by buying the refill only instead of the whole ball point pen.


2.     Market: It has been a long time since ball point pens have replaced fountain pens. Almost all people who can write use ball point pens; and there is huge demand for ball point pens in all countries. Of course, the advent of the computer has decreased, to some extend, the demand for ball point pens. But still there is large demand for this stationery product every-where. The main consumers of ball point pens and their refills are students. In the Amhara Region alone, it is reported that there are about 3.7 million students (2006/2007). Ball point pens and their refills used by students of the Region and by their compatriots in other regions of the country are imported. If we assume that one student consumes about 10 ball point pens (using refills) per academic year that annual consumption of ball point pens or refills in the Amhara Region is about 37 million. If we suppose that other sectors of the Amhara society i.e. office workers, shop keepers, etc consume about 20 percent of the consumption of students, regional demand for ball point pens will be around 44.4 million (37 mill. +0.2 x 37 mills). With this demand, a number of plants which produce ball point pen refills can be financially viable.


3.      Source of Raw Material: The main inputs for the refills will be ink, metal or transparent plastic tube and metal nozzle. These inputs will be imported.


4.     Process and Technology: The ball pen refill making unit consists of small machines which can be installed even in a small hall adjust to a house. The machines are steel fabricated, sturdy, small and light. They can be easily operated by family labor with little training. The main machines used to produce ball point refills are ink filling machine, nozzle inserting machine, centrifugal machine, punching machine and hot stamping machine. All the machines can be fixed on a wooden table measuring 6” length, 18” wide and 30” height.  

5.     Estimated Investment: For a plant that will produce 2000 refills per day, the estimated investment will be

Ÿ         Building/ shade 50 m2 at Br 2000/m2=    100,000

Ÿ         Machinery (Tools)                        90,000

Ÿ         Working Capital                                        50,000                                                                                                    240,000 

6.     Benefits: Promotes self-sufficiency, saves regional financial resources, and contributes to the education system.


  1. Location: Any Zonal capital