Positioning Applications With The KLA Linear Actuator

Linear positioning actuator delivers strokes up to 7 mm with 5 µm precision

The Kinitics Linear Actuator (KLA) is a shape memory alloy-based precision linear actuator that delivers high force and high speed in a compact package, making it an ideal linear actuator for positioning applications. Electrically powered, the KLA actuator has only one moving part, the rod, and operates without the backlash common to lead-screw and ball-screw actuators, improving performance in a positioning application. Additionally, in continuous-duty holding operation the KLA Linear Actuator requires little power, making it an efficient alternative to fluid-power options. Forces up to 650N can be generated and maintained within sub-Newton accuracy while strokes up to 7 mm can be held to within 5 µm.

A typical control loop using a Kinitics Automation KLA Linear Actuator and KCA020 Controller.

The KLA05 Linear Actuator uses shape memory alloys for high force, high speed and high precision, making it ideal for positioning applications.
Figure 1 – Operating regions of SMA wire undergoing Joule heating
Positional response under steady-state power

As the voltage source can be modulated such that power input matches heat dissipation, holding the actuator at a desired position, our SMA-based linear positioning actuator is ideally suited for positioning applications


Shape memory alloy wires conduct electricity, and when current is applied undergo Joule heating to obtain a highly linear relationship between the wires’ length and energy input. This relationship makes the Kinitics SMA-based linear positioning actuator ideally suited for positioning applications, as the voltage source can be modulated such that power input matches heat dissipation, holding the actuator at a desired position. Furthermore, in a positioning application little power is required: Less than 8 percent of the actuator’s rated power (and even less, depending on the cooling medium) is required for the actuator to hold its rated load at a set position.

Configure an actuator and request a quote online, or contact us to find out more about using Kinitics Automation’s precision linear actuators in your application!
A more detailed application note on positioning applications with the KLA Linear Actuator is available. Contact us to receive a PDF copy.