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Industrial-scale printing is performed by a printing press which produces printed material at high speed and low cost per page. These machines may be sheet-fed, printing on individual paper sheets, or web-fed, printing on long webs of paper supplied on large reels.

Printing, particularly in color, is a complex process. Most commonly, offset printing is used, which uses a separate printing tower for each ink color. Each color also uses a single lithographic plate which together form the image to be printed.

Since the paper is supplied at an assumed level of surface quality, the priority is to monitor the process for potential web defects or to detect any blemishes introduced during printing. This requires intelligent classification of defects, so that intentional print marks are not recorded as problems.
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