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Off-line vs. In-line Inspection

The traditional, real-time approach of in-line print inspection systems is one way to prevent these and other dangerous, costly errors. The technology, used to analyze every component in a print run and detect defects, registration issues, and mechanical and operator errors, requires a sample from early in the run to be used as the Master and as a baseline for the rest of the job. This can be risky, though, as the Master file is the only one that has been approved by the customer. Therefore, if there is an error in the transferred file, then all components compared against it will be wrong too, and the responsibility—and associated costs—of fixing any spoilage falls on the shoulders of the printer.

To prevent this, another option is available in off-line inspection software. With off-line inspection, printing components are removed from the line throughout the run and scanned into the system, where the software can compare them against the original Master file. It will check for typos, artwork consistencies, and, if used from the beginning, any pre-press human errors. As opposed to in-line inspection, which requires one camera or device for each printing press, one off-line inspection software license can be used to analyze components from multiple presses.

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