Zero-defect robotic manufacturing


For automation to be successful, it is essential for a robot that the virtual world corresponds to the actual physical world. That normally requires manual programming and making the physical world ‘inflexible’. In case of a large product to be produced in small quantities, such legacy methods are no longer cost-effective. That is why a robot must be able to understand the physical world with the help of sensors and configure itself accordingly. This autonomisation of robots is also the path to closed-loop process control. It enables the robots to measure the actual process and product parameters during the process, compare them independently with digital process and product models that ‘run’ in the background and make corrections independently where necessary. In this way, autonomisation leads to efficient and proven zero-defect robotic manufacturing.


This project is a deepening project that will be carried out at a lower TRL (Technology Readiness Level) compared with the application projects in the ‘Composite’ domain. Maximum use will be made of the knowledge and infrastructure jointly acquired by the partners at SAM XL which will also be built on. The milestones will focus on the demonstration of mid-TRL demonstrators and low-TRL proof-of-principles and proof-of-concepts.

This project will focus on adaptive machines for production environments where reality is different to the CAD models (imperfect world). The radical ambition for innovation is to do the following within this imperfect world:

  • Be able to manufacture unique products properly in a single operation, using robotic processes, with simultaneous quality assurance and certification, by means of full process control and feedback.
  • To compensate for variations without programming when manufacturing large products: position on the production floor, sagging under own weight, expansion due to temperature difference, production variation, variation in quality across a product, etc.


TU Delft, TNO, GKN Aerospace, KLM, GTM, CEAD B.V., KVE Composites Group, IT’S Engineering, Qlayers, Suzlon Energy.

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Duration: May 2023 – May 2030