Royal Printing Expands into Extreme Productivity and Diversification

Backed by Canon Solutions America, Royal Printing (Oklahoma City, OK) entered the world of digital printing less than three years ago. A third-generation family-owned business, the company was primarily involved in the careful and precise offset printing and finishing of election ballots for about 50 years. In 2011 the company moved to digital print when the State of Oklahoma changed its ballot requirements to accommodate new voting devices and to comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Under HAVA, ballot printers must be able to accommodate the exacting requirements of electronic voting machines and produce variable-size, variable-color, and variable data (sequentially numbered and barcoded) ballots.

Kelley Thomas, President of Royal Printing, recognized that her company’s existing offset equipment was not up to the task of accommodating the market’s changing standards. Fearing that the new requirements would spell the demise of the family business and unwilling to sacrifice her father’s legacy, Thomas began searching for a solution. dpi-cp-feb14-article-inset-royal.jpg She found it in the form of digital printing services and a partnership with Canon Solutions America. Thomas spent months researching the digital press offerings before she decided on the Océ ColorStream® 10000 Flex Press, a toner-based, color digital web press that offers fully automated and variable perforating, cutting, and stacking.

Royal Printing replaced three offset presses with one Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex. Almost immediately, the company found itself operating at increased levels of productivity. Thomas elaborates, “When we were working with offset, we had to pre-cut the paper, print one side of the paper at a time and let it dry overnight, then post-cut it, break it down into stacks, stitch it, shrink-wrap it, and box it. The Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex eliminates most of these steps, so now all we have to do is print it and ship it on the same day.”

“The Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex eliminates [many] steps, so now all we have to do is print it and ship it on the same day.”
Kelley Thomas
President of Royal Printing

These new production capabilities also enabled Royal Printing to offer additional commercial printing services beyond its core ballot printing. Armed with a refreshed website featuring online job submission and a social media presence, the company began promoting new digital printing offerings such as forms, books, direct mail, and marketing collateral. Customers responded enthusiastically, resulting in an ever-increasing demand for short-run print jobs.

Royal Printing increased its investment in digital printing with the addition of a Canon imagePRESS® C6010VP press to accommodate its growing commercial print business. Thomas states, “We’ve also purchased several finishing solutions for our digital press, including a spiral binder, a booklet maker, and a perfect binder. Each investment makes us more diversified and increasingly comfortable with the variety of printing jobs we are able to handle.”

The move to digital has enabled Royal Printing to become a true full-service print shop, encompassing a wide array of printing solutions. While election ballots remain the company’s bread and butter, Royal Printing is now able to respond to customers’ needs for direct mail, brochures, calendars, books, greeting cards, transpromotional pieces, menus, magazines, and everything in between. Thomas concludes, “We used to be limited to election ballot printing and mostly black ink forms printing. With our digital solutions, we have many more opportunities to print exactly what our customers want and need. We are excited to see how Royal Printing grows in the future as we gain new customers and further diversify our product line.”