ProFlexA — Productive Flexible Automation

Researchers: Rolf Johansson, Anders Robertsson, Olof Sörnmo and Björn Olofsson in cooperation with Dept. of Computer Science, Lund University and Div. of Assembly Technology, Linköping University and several industrial partners.

Funding: This project is financially supported by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) under the programme ProViking.

Duration: 2009-2012

Official webpage: ProFlexA.


The Swedish casting and foundry industry is under high pressure to reduce its production cost in order to maintain its competitiveness and avoid moving its activities to low cost countries. This means that there is a need to improve efficiency, product quality and consistency and to reduce costs and lead-time. The project focuses on achieving productive and profitable robotized automation of the fettling for small and medium sized volumes.

The project has the following work packages that also reflects the expected results and deliverables.

  • WP1: Development of components and methods for handling of castings, including development of modular, configurable, simple and inexpensive grippers.
  • WP2: Development of technology and configurators for flexibility and quick start-up of new products or product changes.
  • WP3: Development of methods for measurement of excess material and compensation of gripper errors.
  • WP4: Build-up of database of process parameters for optimal material removal rate.
  • WP5: Development of a Lead-through programming concept.
  • WP6: Development of the Off-Line programming concept.
  • WP7: Development of physical demonstrator.
  • WP8: Exploration of the potential for the developed technology in other industry branches.

All of these benefits strengthen Swedish foundry industry and delivers important knowledge to other adjoining industry sectors.


  • Swerea SWECAST AB
  • Artech Automation AB
  • SVIA — Svensk Industriautomation AB
  • Smålands Stålgjuteri AB
  • Saab Aerosystems
  • DELFOi
  • Combi Wear Parts AB
  • AB Bruzaholms Bruk AB
  • Linköping University
  • Lund University



Björn Olofsson: "Topics in Machining with Industrial Robots and Optimal Control of Vehicles". Licentiate Thesis ISRN LUTFD2/TFRT--3259--SE, Department of Automatic Control, Lund University, Sweden, 2013.

Olof Sömmo, Anders Robertsson, Anders Wanner: "Force Controlled Knife-Grinding with Industrial Robot". In 2012 IEEE Multi-Conference on Systems and Control, Dubrovnik, Croatia , October 2012.

Olof Sömmo, Björn Olofsson, Anders Robertsson, Rolf Johansson: "Increasing Time-Efficiency and Accuracy of Robotic Machining Processes Using Model-Based Adaptive Force Control". In 10th International IFAC Symposium on Robot Control, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2012.

Marie Jonsson, Andreas Stolt, Anders Robertsson, Tom Murray, Klas Nilsson: "Force Controlled Assembly of a Compliant Rib". In SAE2011 Aerotech Congress & Exibition, Toulouse, France, October 2011.

Björn Olofsson, Henrik Nilsson, Anders Robertsson, Johan Åkesson: "Optimal Tracking and Identification of Paths for Industrial Robots". In 18th IFAC World Congress, Milano, Italy, August 2011.

Andreas Stolt, Magnus Linderoth, Anders Robertsson, Marie Jonsson, Tom Murray: "Force Controlled Assembly of Flexible Aircraft Structure". In 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Shanghai, China, May 2011.

Marie Jonsson, Tom Murray, Anders Robertsson, Andreas Stolt, Gilbert Ossbahr, Klas Nilsson: "Force Feedback for Assembly of Aircraft Structures". In SAE 2010 Aerospace Manufacturing and Automated Fastening Conference, Wichita, Kansas, USA, September 2010.

Tomas Olsson, Mathias Haage, Henrik Kihlman, Rolf Johansson, Klas Nilsson, Anders Robertsson, Mats Björkman, Robert Isaksson, Gilbert Ossbahr, Torgny Brogårdh: "Cost-efficient drilling using industrial robots with high-bandwidth force feedback". Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 26, pp. 24–38, January 2010.

Javier Gámez García, Anders Robertsson, Juan Gómez Ortega, Rolf Johansson: "Improvement of Force Control in Robotic Manipulators Using Sensor Fusion Techniques". In (Eds.): Robot Manipulators, In-Tech, Vienna, Austria, September 2008.

Javier Gámez García, Anders Robertsson, Juan Gómez Ortega, Rolf Johansson: "Sensor Fusion for Compliant Robot Motion Control". IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 24:2, pp. 430–441, April 2008.

Tomas Olsson: High-Speed Vision and Force Feedback for Motion-Controlled Industrial Manipulators. PhD Thesis ISRN LUTFD2/TFRT--1078--SE, Department of Automatic Control, Lund University, Sweden, May 2007.

Tomas Olsson, Rolf Johansson, Anders Robertsson: "Force/Vision Based Active Damping Control of Contact Transition in Dynamic Environments". In (Eds.): Dynamical Vision, Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg, May 2007.

Tomas Olsson, Anders Robertsson, Rolf Johansson: "Flexible Force Control for Accurate Low-Cost Robot Drilling". In Proc. of the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'07), Rome, Italy, April 2007.

Tomas Olsson, Rolf Johansson, Anders Robertsson: "Force/Vision Based Active Damping Control of Contact Transition in Dynamic Environments". In Proc. 10th IEEE Int. Conf. Computer Vision, Workshop on Dynamical Vision, Beijing, October 2005.

Rolf Johansson, Anders Robertsson, Klas Nilsson, Torgny Brogårdh, Per Cederberg, Magnus Olsson, Tomas Olsson, Gunnar Bolmsjö: "Sensor Integration in Task-level Programming and Industrial Robotic Task Execution Control". Industrial Robot: An International Journal, 31:3, pp. 284–296,2004.