Digital composite automation


In aviation, the pace of development is continuing to increase due to electrification and alternative fuels. The costs for these solutions need to be radically reduced, as does the development time. The only way this can be achieved is through far-reaching automation which requires a very high level of system flexibility on account of the diversity in the production process. The goal of this project is to develop a digital production platform for flexible composite production for sustainable aviation, consisting of a software platform with a range of robot-based production systems. It must be possible for the automation systems developed to be supplied to customers in various configurations and also for third-party equipment to be integrated.


The ultimate goal is to become the global market leader with a digital production platform that will be supplied worldwide. This will make composite products more affordable, improve the reliability and flexibility of production, drastically reduce the time to market of new series and reduce the impact on the environment. The environmental benefits are two-fold: the new applications will consume less energy on account of their lighter weight on the one hand and the amount of waste produced will be greatly reduced on the other hand.

The project consists of the following work packages: 

  • Development of adaptive machines 
  • Production lines and the digital backbone 
  • Process monitoring and control 
  • Pilot production lines for evaluation and validation 

The primary focus is thermoset composite production for aircraft construction components. Two production lines will be developed, one for dry fabric and RTM and one for pre-preg. Both production lines will cover the whole process of production in a high mix: from raw material to the complete finished product. 


TU Delft, TNO, DEMCON focal, Airborne, NLR, KVE Composites Group, Neitraco Groep, Curve Works.

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Duration: May 2023 – May 2030