Smart fiber placement is an ambitious topic in current research for automated manufacturing of large-scale composite structures, e.g. wing covers. Adaptive systems get in focus to obtain a high degree of observability and controllability of the manufacturing process. In particular, vibrational issues and material failure have to be studied to significantly increase the production rate with no loss in accuracy of the fiber layup. As one contribution, an adaptive system has been developed to be integrated into the fiber placement head. It decouples the compaction roller from disturbances caused by misalignments, varying components’ behavior over a large work area and acceleration changes during operation. Therefore, the smart system axially adapts the position of the compaction roller in case of disturbances. This paper investigates the behavior of the system to compensate quasi-static deviations from the desired path. In particular, the compensation efficiency of a constant offset, a linear drift with constant gradient and a single-curved drift is studied. Thus, the test bed with measurement devices and scenarios is explained. Based on the knowledge obtained by the experimental data, the paper concludes with a discussion of the proposed approach for its use under operating conditions and further implementation.