The versatile 5m Virtu RR50 roll-to-roll printer from Swiss wide-format digital ink-jet manufacturer Polytype has been selected by the International Forum's (iF) Product Design Awards 2011 as a winner in the Industry and Skilled Trades category. Assessed rigorously against criteria incorporating design quality, workmanship, eco-friendliness, safety and brand value, this accolade provides international, interdisciplinary recognition of the Virtu brand's, and Polytype's, trailblazing contribution to innovation in printing technology development.
The Virtu RR50 from Polytype receives the iF Seal of Design Excellence, which is valid for its entire product life cycle, and will be included in the iF's Product Design Award Yearbook, available on March 1st. The iF Product Design Award was inaugurated in 1956 to honour exceptional achievement in design, and received 2,756 entries this year in fields which include architecture, household or professional equipment, lighting and AV. The jury comprised 25 experts from various technology disciplines, led by Fritz Frenkler, professor of industrial design at the Technical University of Munich.
The award adds to the accolades already granted to the Virtu RR50, which last year won the European Digital Press Association Award as the best superwide-format printer larger than three metres. The UV-curable engine outputs at an addressable resolution of 1,200dpi across a spectrum of flexible materials, including textiles, and is available in four- or six-colour configurations plus white for over- and under-printing. Innovations proprietary to the Virtu range comprise its linear drive motor, which improves stability and image quality, and operational considerations such as assisted loading and its compact, robust architecture.
"Polytype entered the iF Product Design Awards after encouragement to seek further endorsement for the Virtu wide-format printer range from the technology community at large, and we are thrilled to have received it," comments Sylvia Muhr, European sales director for Polytype. "We will always commit to extensive research and development for each machine we bring to market, making the Virtu brand an inspirational standard for all segments of wide-format print, no matter the application."
Capable of achieving speeds up to 320sq m/hour, the Polytype Virtu RR50 adds other productivity features to a machine's armoury, such as the ability to print three 1.2m rolls simultaneously, heavy-weight reel handling and longitudinal and cross-cutting facilities. Its Virtu Flexo ink set produces no volatile organic c0mpounds (VOCs) during the printing process, ensuring a high level of ecological responsibility, and can combine with a bulk ink system, making it suitable for busy production environments. The machine can be either front- or rear-loaded, and can also sit as part of a larger production line for industrial applications, such as glass.
Polytype SA (formerly WP Digital) is renowned in the wide-format digital ink-jet space as a manufacturer of resilient, reliable printing technologies for the production of many different decorative, display and industrial applications. With characteristic Swiss attention to precision engineering inherent to all of its technologies, its Virtu range of wide- and superwide-format printers is recognised for its ability to produce high-quality graphics on a practically unlimited range of substrates.