Royal Printing Heads to the Polls with Help from Canon Solutions America

Royal Printing, founded in 1961 by Roy Thomas, has been Oklahoma’s premier ballot printer for over 50 years. Family-owned and now led by Roy’s daughter, Kelley Thomas, and his son, Phil Thomas, Royal Printing has also established a respected name in commercial printing, producing outstanding work for long-standing clients such as the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic and the State Fair of Oklahoma.

In 1991, the Oklahoma State Election Board made history by becoming the first state to use the same electronic voting equipment statewide and to require that all ballots be printed to the same standards. Royal Printing was awarded the contract and now prints the ballots for 76 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties for most national, state, and local elections.

In 2011, the State of Oklahoma again changed the ballot requirements to comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and accommodate new voting devices. The new requirements included:

  • Variable-size ballots
  • Variable data for sequential/serialized numbering and barcodes
  • Variable color indicator of ballot type
  • Variable-size perforated stubs
  • Variable banners/cover sheets
  • Variable set sizes

Royal Printing’s President Kelley Thomas knew that their offset workflow was not up to the task and recognized that the only way to meet the new ballot requirements was to migrate the work to a digital press. After considering proposals from all the major vendors, Royal Printing decided to partner with Océ, now Canon Solutions America (Booth 502).

“Océ stood apart from the other vendors—they were the only company that did a thorough analysis of every aspect of the entire workflow before recommending a solution,” says Thomas. “They also looked at our vision for future growth and put together a system that could handle the new ballot specifications as well as opportunities for expansion.”

Royal Printing has now installed the Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex press with full-color capabilities and fully automated and variable perforating, cutting, and stacking. The sophisticated Océ PRISMAproduction software completes the system with intelligent printer management, output administration, and job manipulation. Océ PRISMAproduction software tracks every job for quick and easy recall and even provides real-time recognition of an in-line misprint and automatically reprints the page—a mission-critical feature for ballot printing.

Royal Printing’s vision for future growth was a big part of the selection process. The Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex press is capable of producing a full spectrum of spot and process-color work with 100% variable data. It can also handle a wide variety of media types and finished sizes. The additional in-line finishing operations such as folding, punching, stapling, and inserting will facilitate many more profit- generating applications and growth.

The scalability and modular finishing options of the Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex press protect Royal Printing from technological or application obsolescence. The unique ability of the Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex press also provides Royal Printing a competitive advantage, offering their clients dynamic productivity and pricing structures while maintaining excellent quality.

Thomas remarks, “Océ [Canon Solutions America] really nailed it for us. They put together a robust, automated, and flexible system that could handle our needs today—and tomorrow. We are thrilled at the results of our partnership thus far and look forward to continued cooperation as we expand and grow.”