SICK keeps mobile platforms on track - Navigation options for automated guided vehicle systems

Nov 28, 2017

Waldkirch, November 2017 – At the SPS IPC Drives 2017 exhibition, SICK will be presenting complete modular sensor solutions for automated guided vehicle systems and mobile platforms. With its wide-ranging portfolio of sensors and sensor systems, the company offers a variety of automation solutions for mobile platforms of all types, from small automated guided vehicle systems and automated guided carts (AGCs) to specialist automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The track guidance options available are as varied as the platforms themselves.


Optical track guidance, for example, makes installing and maintaining tracks particularly easy and cost-effective. The optical line sensor (OLS) recognizes conventional luminescent adhesive tape, regardless of the floor material, contamination levels, or surface defects. In addition, the OLS can read 1D codes as it passes over them, which allows it to transmit route information and operating commands.


Magnetic track guidance systems are resistant to environmental influences, including powerful ambient light and contamination. The magnetic line sensor (MLS) comes in a range of lengths. This enables it to be used in different vehicle concepts and to guide vehicles round curves with a small radius. If an invisible track is needed, it can be installed under the floor covering.


By contrast, the grid localization system is not restricted to use with tracks. As a result, it can meet the requirements of warehouse logistics systems for variable routes. Matrix codes are fixed to the floor in an X/Y grid for this purpose. The grid localization sensor (GLS) reads the codes dynamically as it passes over them, which enables the vehicle to identify its absolute position in the room.


Modular sensor solutions for mobile platforms


AGVs and AGV systems are now used in almost all areas of industry, for example as production supply solutions, as transport platforms on assembly lines, and as an integral part of warehouse logistics systems. The number of technical options available with AGV systems and the resulting applications have increased significantly over recent years. These systems now provide flexible, cost-effective, and future-proof solutions. Because of the wide variety of different purposes the sensor solutions are used for, they need to be scalable and modular in order to make the transport of goods safer, faster, and more transparent. This allows risks and the causes of faults to be systematically eliminated. It also means that a number of different stages in the production process can be accelerated.


SICK is one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. The company, which was founded in 1946 by Dr. Erwin Sick and has its headquarters in Waldkirch im Breisgau near Freiburg in Germany, is among the technology market leaders. With more than 50 subsidiaries and equity investments as well as many agencies, SICK has a presence all over the world. In the 2016 fiscal year, SICK had more than 8,000 employees worldwide and a group revenue of just under EUR 1.4 billion.

Additional information about SICK is available on the Internet at or by phone on +49 (0) 7681 202 4183.

Press Release

Press Release (.docx)


Image: Mobile_Platforms.jpg

SICK provides three different track guidance options for mobile platforms.