IEC, south african elections

The IEC teams up with Avision

The technology behind South Africa’s general election.

On election day, 22 April 2009, all South Africans needed to do, was make a cross on a piece of paper. Behind the scenes, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) still had a lot of work lying ahead to ensure that the election count was accurate, secure and as fast as possible. While the entire country was sitting on the edge of their chairs in expectation of the result. After closing the votes in more than 20,000 voting districts, sealed boxes filled with ballots were sent to 297 counting stations countrywide.

Making every vote count

Once the sealed ballot boxes reached the counting stations, a unique batch number was allocated to the ballots. After the ballots were sorted and counted, the results were written on a results slip. Representatives from the various political parties as well as an independent auditor checked these slips and signed off the results for each voting district. This step was vital, as it ensured that all votes were recorded – and were recorded accurately. The approved results slips are all identified by a unique barcode, these barcodes were scanned on Avision AV220C2+ scanners to create digital back-up copies. The AV220C2+ has an ultrasonic sensor that detects double paper feed, making it impossible for paper jams and double feeds. The barcodes were indexed using IRIS Powerscan software, which was customised for the IEC. Having a digital copy served as proof thet the votes were actually counted and were crucial in case any batches went missing. Digitising the results also sped up the process of collating and verifying the outcome of the election. This is where IRIS Powerscan made quite a difference in the speed with which the result was delivered. The software was customized to read the barcode and data from the scanned results slips and convert it to a small XML file. These files were then sent directly to the IEC’s Results Centre. As soon as this information reached the Results Centre, it could be published knowing that the source documents had been backed up. The actual backup images of the results slip were sent to the IEC database in a different queue for preservation and referral.


A winning tender

The IEC sourced the result slip capturing technology via their on-line auction procurement system. At first, they invited only proposals for scanners, but once these were selected, a second auction was held to source a suitable, compatible software solution. Imaging Machines Corporation (Pty) Ltd., the official distributor of Avision products in Africa, has a number of resellers and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Firstcoast Technologies. The most prominent reseller is UTAX, an office automation company with an impressive footprint in South Africa. UTAX (Cape Town) managed to secure the IEC’s order for 430 Avision scanners by submitting the winning bid. UTAX’s Sales Director, Garth Ennion, was delighted with this achievement: “We have had a long-standing relationship with the Firstcoast Technologies group of companies and we always market their products with confidence. Products like their Avision scanners complement our own product range and we know that we can always count on their support.” Firstcoast Technologies themselves submitted the winning bid for the software solution. “This proves that our product mix is the best on the market in South Africa at the moment. The Avision scanners and IRIS Powerscan software beat all competitive products in winning these tenders for the 2009 national elections,” commented Grant Stott, a director at Firstcoast.

Technical information:

The technology solutions supplied by Firstcoast and UTAX in the South African elections are:

  • Avision AV220C2+ scanners: These A4 sheet-fed scanners can scan up to 40 pages per minute (80 images using duplex (back-to-back) scanning). They offer double paper feed detection via an ultrasonic sensor and are small and compact.
  • IRIS Powerscan capture and recognition software (developed by Image Recognition Integrated Systems Inc., based in Belgium): The software offers sophisticated document indexing, efficient quality control and document and page manipulation. It also provides manual and OCR-assisted (optical character recognition) indexing, image hyper-compression and generates an array of output formats.

These tenders were won based on world-class products that beat every brand on the market. The IEC chose Avision and IRIS products as they not only met their requirements but, in fact, exceeded them.

More information

For more information about this case study and for more technical information about the hardware and software that was used, please see the full case study here. To find out how Avision scanners can help digitise, secure and streamline your organisation’s document management, please contact First Coast Technologies to see what we could do for you.

Capitec Bank puts its money where its mouth is

Capitec Bank puts its money where its mouth is

Just like Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan took an honest look at South Africa’s financial health during his Medium Term Budget Speech, so should you. So says South Africa’s fastest growing retail bank for individuals, Capitec Bank. Their head of strategic communications Charl Nel shared P.G’s top ten tips from the 2012 budget, and here’s how partnering with Avision makes sense …

 Tip #2 – Cut the waste and share responsibility: P.G. is pretty clear that getting through the financial year, unscathed, is everyone’s responsibility, not just Government’s. Hear hear! Take heed of this advice and ask your family to help you bust your household budget in 2013. Ask everyone to turn off the lights when not in their room to save electricity, or swap clothes with friends to get a new ‘do’ instead of rushing to the mall for a new outfit. A lot of little things could make a big difference. Besides, your family may find the challenge of cutting the fat fun!

What he doesn’t mention is how Capitec lives up to cutting waste and making life easier for its customers as part of the bank’s philosophy Simplicity is the ultimate sophisticationIn their drive to go paperless Capitec recently empowered their entire retail banking network with AVISION FB1200+ slimline scanners. 

 The business case was simple and clear: to reduce waste of time, space and cost; to speed up and improve customer sign on experience; to eliminate unneccessary human error in data capture; to provide access to customer account data 24/7/365 from anywhere ensuring a seamless and effortless means of record keeping. Not only is digitising its customer data an innovative and necessary strategy for a fast growing banking brand, it’s also a demonstration of their commitment to a sustainable environment for future generations and a better living for all. More so – it is the right thing to do to cut office costs and wastage. Who wants to see their margins crumpled up in a wastepaper basket?

Imagine how much money you can save by switching off the lights, stop printing, copying and faxing and stop using paper. Increasing profitability has never been this easy!

Avision launches 70 ppm

Avision launches 70 ppm scanner @ Computex Tapei 2012

Sheetfed document scanner AV280

  • Duplex Sheetfed (CCD)
  • Dimensions: (HWD)
  • 306 x 268 x 258 mm
  • 6.5 KG
  • LED light source
  • ADF Cap.: 100 sheets
  • DDC: 4,000 pages
  • Paper Thickness: 28 ~ 400 g/m²
  • BW: 70ppm/140ipm (200dpi)
  • Color: 70ppm/140ipm (200dpi)
  • BW: 60ppm/120ipm (300dpi)
  • Color: 60ppm/120ipm (300dpi)
  • Ultrasonic
  • (ID Card Scan)
  • Long Page: 118”(3m)
Avision at Computex Taipei 2011

Avision at Computex Taipei 2011

Avision once again presented their latest scanning technology at Computex Taipei – the Taipei international information technology show – which ran from 31 May – 4 June 2011 at the Taipei World Trade Centre.

Showcasing the a range of innovative products, particularly the latest in portable scanning solutions. Avision presented the fastest in flatbed scanning on the market, scan to USB or memory card devices, always with the highest quality image production from their entire range of scanners.

Avision partners with all the major capture software developers including Kofax, Iris, ABBYY and EMC. Avision scanners are manufactured to offer the best imaging products available on the market, which interface will all the worlds leading capture solutions.

Connect Any Avision Document Scanner

Connect Any Avision Document Scanner to any Flatbed Scanner

Avision leading scanning technology has developed the Avision dual driver to enable any Avision sheet fed document scanner to connect directly to any Avision flatbed scanner. Each scanner works either independently, or in unison to provide seamless switching from the flatbed scanner to the sheet feeder.

No need to switch the scanning source for the paper. One touch scanning with Avision Button Manager software, put the paper on either the flatbed or into the sheet feeder unit and push scan on the appropriate unit. No requirement to go into the driver or capture software to switch the scanners from one to the other.

Advantages of using the Avision dual driver:

  • Combine the exact profile of scanners you require
    • A6 flatbed(AVA6+) with A4 40ppm sheet feed scanner(AV186+)
    • A4 flatbed(IS1000) with A3 60ppm sheetfed scanner(AV320D2+)
  • Combining scanners creates a more affordable solution to the combination units
  • Optimises desktop space
  • Combine the latest technology and speed of the new Avision scanners
  • Combine the scanners or chose to separate and operate them independently if required

This is not a tethered solution that only operates when the scanners are connected to each other. Either scanner can be separated to operate as an independent scan unit in different locations.

Contact us to find out more or request a demonstration of this solution


High Speed A3 Production Scanning – AV320D2+

Need to scan many A3 documents quickly? Then the AV320D2+ from Avision is just what you need. Processing up to 10,000 pages daily it can handle a pretty impressive 60 pages / 120 images per minute in simplex / duplex mode. Outputs are at 200 or 300 dpi, in colour, greyscale or B&W.

Double-feeds are significantly reduced with the AV320D2+’s on-board ultrasonic multi-feed sensor. And the handy bundled software lets you select nine pre-set scanning operations at the touch of a button. Scanned documents can be saved as PDFs, which are also searchable, thanks to the included Avision Button Manager software.

Production scanning is affordable with the AV320D2+ scanner. Scan documents from receipt size – A3 drawings and double folder contacts.

The AV320D2+ A3 document scanner features:

  • 150 document feeder tray
  • Maintains scanning speed @ 200dpi and 300dpi in colour or Black & White
  • Perfect for scanning proof of delivery documents that are smaller and thinner (ultrasonic sensor)
  • Long scanning – paper up to 3 metres
  • Supports plastic card scanning and thicker documents
  • Twain driver support interfaces with any twain supported capture software (also Ships with ISIS driver)

Click here for more information.