The main objective of the CORDIAL project is to develop a demonstrator of a light robotic way of manufacturing a structural assembly of an aircraft door. Traditional substructures assembly lines require either numerous work steps with recurrent and sometimes painful manual operations or very powerful machines only affordable for high production rates.

The aim of CORDIAL is to fill the gap between manual production and intensive machining with a new light weight collaborative robot. The ambition of CORDIAL is to provide a new medium not to say a new industrial paradigm where flexible cobots will collaborate with workers to make production smarter.


  • Design a new door manufacturing layout where usual assembling steps are reduced to a short and lean one way assembly process
  • Create an operator friendly production environment where both robot and operator can work safely and efficiently together
  • Develop a new multi-functional end effector on a light weight robot
  • Implement a demonstrator

We’re moving away from trying to maximize automation with people taking a bigger part in industrial processes again. We need to be flexible.

-- Markus Schaefer, Mercedes head of production

About CORDIAL and Clean Sky

CORDIAL has been launched to respond to a Call for Project from the European Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking.

Clean Sky is the largest European research programme developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, Clean Sky contributes to strengthening European aero-industry collaboration, global leadership and competitiveness.

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 738200.

Partners and their role in the project

SAAB – Sweden – Linköping

SAAB is the Topic Leader at the source of the CORDIAL project. SAAB is a multi-industrial leader. In the field of aerospace, SAAB is well know for the Gripen, a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft. But SAAB is also a skilled subcontractor for civil aerospace, preparing subassemblies for main aircraft manufacturers

AeroSpline – France – Bordeaux

AeroSpline is the Project Coordinator. AeroSpline is a French SME based in Bordeaux, France. AeroSpline is specialized in developing mechatronics and collaborative robotics for manufacturing

SONACA – Belgium – Gosselies

SONACA is a world leader concerning the design and manufacturing of wing parts, and particularly the fix leading edges and slats of aircrafts. SONACA also offers engineering services to manufacturing industries.

CNRS – XLIM – France – Poitiers

CNRS – XLIM is member of the French National Centre for Scientific Research. CNRS XLIM Poitiers has engineered a highly dexterious robotic hand, which is known to be unique in the world for its capacity to turn a ball between and around its fingers. XLIM has also developed special skills in image processing.