Trinity collaborative robot applications for an agile production

ROBUST | Reconfigurable cOBotic prodUction AsSistanT

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Small production runs, large variations and great uncertainty about the orderbook make it hard for suppliers in the metals sector to make use of standardised automation. As a result, the sector still uses a lot of repetitive manual work, which raises production costs while underusing technically trained employees.


The ROBUST project is focused on automating 'high-mix-low-volume' sheet metal processing by using collaborative robots (cobots). The suppliers in this sector are faced with the challenges of dealing with small series and varying orders. The repetitive, manual work is always of short duration, requiring shorter automation changeover times. This discourages sheet metal suppliers from adopting standard automation solutions, despite the higher user-friendliness of cobots.


ROBUST's main goal is to transform cobots into mobile, reconfigurable production assistants. This includes demonstrating technological building blocks that SMEs can use to deploy cobots as adaptable mobile production assistants. COOCK+ ROBUST will support companies and help them implement these automated or semi-automated cobot-based solutions.

The approach 

The project starts from the problems involved in introducing automation at sheet metal suppliers that have to deal with short runs and variable orders. ROBUST focuses on creating solutions that enhance the mobility, reconfigurability and autonomy of cobots. These solutions are shown by four demonstrators with different applications, such as pressing, welding, deburring, drilling, screwing, sanding and bonding various product series. The demonstrators cover a wide range of practical setups and preconditions, whereby they are described in detail and their impact on the production process is measured.
The knowledge gained from the demonstrators will be disseminated through publications and made available through a selection guide to companies that wish to take steps toward automation. This allows companies to put together a mobile production assistant that meets their criteria. 

Target group

Although the project is directed at sheet metal suppliers - primarily SMEs - it will also be interesting to larger companies whose 'high mix-low-volume' production environment makes it hard for them to automate due to variable orders and small series. These would be companies that perform repetitive tasks on various products, such as welding, pressing, sanding and bending.                                                                                                                           


  • Reference: HBC.2023.0463

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Jan 2024 - Dec 2025

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