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Applying SmartCart Magnetic Guide Tape

SmartCart Automatic Guided Carts (AGC) can deliver materials to, and take products away from your robotic work cell. SmartCart AGCs are often routed by magnetic guide tape applied to the facility floor (new, natural feature guidance is also available). A magnetic guidance sensor aboard the AGC detects the magnetic path and relays the information to the cart control unit (CCU) maintaining the AGC’s position over the tape. Using magnetic guide tape allows you to quickly and inexpensively install or modify the route the SmartCart will take in your facility.

Benefits of selecting magnetic guidance:

  • Requires less product knowledge
  • Easy to install – just clean the floor and install
  • Exact path is marked and very visual upon install
  • Adjustments to the routed path can be made quickly
  • The path can get dirty without affecting the magnetic signal

Developing or modifying your AGC route:

When modifying or developing your AGC’s path it is important to map out the route carefully by considering the areas the cart will run through:

  • Try to avoid high traffic areas or busy intersections
  • Avoid areas where there may be large magnetic disturbance (with some additional work these areas can be addressed)
  • Analyze the most common drive path of fork trucks
  • Check the AGC’s specifications if the path includes sharp turns, ramps, or sloping floor areas

It would be beneficial to lay the path with a quick release tape and observe the route traffic. The magnetic tape will need to be replaced if it is applied in a high traffic area where forklifts drive over it many times during the day. There are magnetic bars available that can be inlaid into the floor if that is a better option in the high traffic sections.  Also, SmartCarts can be used to traverse short distances with no magnetic path.

Once the path is finalized, you can install SmartCart Automatic Guided Cart magnetic guide tape.

Steps for proper install of magnetic guide tape:

  1. Magnetic guide tape sticks best to clean, sealed concrete floors.
    It is very important that you verify the floor is clean. Cleaning the floor with a floor sweeper/liquid cleaner machine or mop with soapy water is best. The goal is to get to the original sealed concrete floor.
  2. Let the floor dry completely.
  3. Check to be sure the floor is clean by applying a small piece of the guide tape to the floor. You should not be able to remove it very easily. When the tape is removed, check how dirty the floor is by what sticks to the tape.
  4. Peel and stick SmartCart AGC 1” wide magnetic guide tape to dry, clean floor.
  5. You have the option of applying a 4” protective tape on top of the magnetic tape. This will improve tape wear and life in high traffic areas.
  6. These tapes are pressure sensitive, so finish the installation by driving over the tape with something heavy like a fork truck or weighted roller.


If properly installed, the magnetic guidance tape will last a long time. If you are not able to avoid high traffic areas, you may find that you have to replace the tape about every three to six months in limited areas. You will notice when the tape starts developing wear and you can replace just that section.  Spot tape replacement should take only a few minutes.

Read more about SmartCarts Contact Motion Controls Robotics to Inquire about SmartCarts
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