Anda di halaman 1dari 14

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention


The present invention relates to a resonance testing device and method for use in hard
disk drive actuators. More particularly, the present invention relates to a resonance testing
device using an accelerometer to determine the range of horizontal motion of a hard disk
drive actuator during operational motion.
2. Description of the Related Art
Hard disk drive (HDD) storage devices currently store data on a magnetic hard disk drive
by magnetically reading data to and writing data from a disk via a read/write head (r/w
head) fixed to an actuator arm.
Alternatively, newer drives, called MR drives, write using magnetic physics which
changes the magnetic field on the media. MR drives read by using the variation of
electrical resistance of the r/w head. In this way, the electrical resistance of the MR r/w
head is changed if it is located near the written data, i.e., variation in the magnetic field,
on the media. As a result, by monitoring the variation of electrical resistance of the r/w
head, it is possible to read the information written on the media. With a thin film head,
the HDD measures the electrical current flow generated when the r/w head is located on
the different magnetic field.
However, regardless of the type of drive, during operation the disk rotates about its axis,
while the actuator arm moves the r/w head across the disk. The actuator arm moves the
r/w head to different areas of the disk to allow the r/w head to read data from and write
data to the disk. The disk itself is divided into a number of concentric tracks each having
the same width. These tracks are in turn divided into a number of sectors. In seeking out a
particular track, the actuator head moves in a radial direction from its current location to
the location of the track in which the data sector it is seeking is located.
For the r/w head to operate properly, it should perform its function at a distance in the
tens of microns above the surface of the hard disk. If the distance between the r/w head
and the disk gets too small, if impurities form on the surface of the disk, or if the head
moves too much in a vertical direction towards the disk, the r/w head can impact on the
surface of the disk, causing damage to the head and the disk. This undesired collision is
called a head crash.
In addition, for the r/w head to operate properly, it must also be moved to the desired
track and sector of the disk within a narrow horizontal range as well. Too much
horizontal displacement can cause the r/w head to be improperly aligned over the desired
track and sector. A horizontal displacement of as little as 8 microns can cause the disk
drive to fail to operate properly.

An inherent limitation in the read/write process is the fact that the actuator arm and the
r/w head will oscillate slightly in a horizontal direction as they move back and forth.
Since the r/w head must stay very small margin of horizontal movement when seeking a
particular track, the oscillation must be kept to within a very small tolerance for the HDD
to operate properly. Too much oscillation will result in the very real possibility of an
improper alignment of the r/w head during a point of maximum oscillation, meaning a
failure to read or write data properly.
FIG. 1 is a graph for showing the natural frequencies of an actuator arm structure. As
shown in FIG. 1, the actuator arm has a gain of the actuator arm varies depending upon
the frequency of its movement. Under ideal conditions, the gain is kept close to 0 dB so
that the gain will be even and the actuator arm will move as directed. As FIG. 1 shows,
however, the gain of the system rises dramatically near the natural, or modal, frequencies
f M1 and f M2 (although only two natural frequencies are shown, there may be others as
well). It is important to identify what these frequencies are so that they can be avoided in
the operation of the actuator system.
One way that the graph of natural frequencies can be obtained is by performing a modal
analysis using parameters for a tortional and bending mode. This will give an acceptable
graph for determining a reasonable operating frequency for the tested actuator, but
requires measurements of the actuator resonance.
Thus, it is very helpful to measure the actuator resonance for HDDs prior to sale or use of
the HDD devices. The actuator resonance serves as a measurement of the horizontal
motion of the actuator arm and r/w head assembly, and will help determine the likelihood
that the head will be able to move to the desired track of the disk for the tested actuator.
An indication of actuator resonance will help decrease failures in manufactured HDD
devices, and can serve to increase the yield of an HDD manufacturing process. If the
actuator resonance is measured prior to the operation of the HDD device, the danger of
improper head alignment can be accurately identified and avoided. This can serve to
enhance the reputation of the company using this testing scheme and thereby increase its
financial success. As a result, although an effective actuator resonance test is not essential
in and HDD manufacturing process, it is desirable.
In the past, the actuator resonance has been measured through the use of a laser-based
testing system, comprising a laser Doppler vibrometer, a digital signal analyzer, a precise
x-y-z fixture, and a high-fidelity power amplifier. An example of this conventional
method is shown in "Drive Level Slider-Suspension Vibration Analysis And its
Application to a Ramp-Load Magnetic Disk Drive," by Ta-Chang Fu, et al., IEEE
Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. 31, No. 6, (November 1995), the contents of which are
hereby incorporated by reference.
One disadvantage of this kind of a laser-based system is its high cost. Typically such a
laser-based resonance tester costs $80,000 or more. This precludes many small parts
suppliers from being able to afford to engage in actuator resonance testing.

In addition, to use the laser-based actuator resonance tester, it is necessary to have an


operator with a certain level of knowledge about laser characteristics and laser operation.
Such an operator must have sufficient expertise in the field of lasers to get a stable beam
focus for the laser used in the system. This serves as a further barrier to the use of laserbased actuator resonance testers. It also serves to increase costs when laser-based system
are indeed used. It also adds to the time and complexity of the testing process, since beam
focusing is neither simple nor quick.
A laser based testing scheme also requires that a hole be drilled in each drive unit tested
to allow the laser beam to shine on the relevant components. This hole must be drilled
with a certain amount of precision, which further increases the complexity and cost of
testing. Furthermore, the drilled hole serves to ruin the HDD device for any future use,
again increasing the cost of testing.
A further disadvantage of conventional laser-based actuator resonance testers is that they
require that the HDD head-disk assembly be fully constructed before it can be tested. If
the HDD device is not fully assembled prior to testing, the weight balances will not be
correct and the measured actuator resonance of the device will be inaccurate. For the
testing to be accurate, the same boundary conditions must exist during testing as would
exist in the final HDD device. Since both ends of the pivot in a manufactured HDD
device are fixed, i.e., connected to the manufactured HDD device, they must both be
fixed in the testing device. The way this is achieved in conventional testing methods is to
fully assemble the HDD device prior to testing. Not only does this increase the cost and
time required for such a test, but it precludes the actuator vendors from being able to
make the tests prior to final assembly, since they do not have access to the assembled
devices.
It is therefore desirable to provide an affordable actuator resonance tester for a disk drive
that can be operated without a great deal of specialized knowledge and prior to final
assembly of the disk drive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is thus an object of the present invention to overcome or at least minimize the various
drawbacks associated with conventional techniques for determining the actuator
resonance for an HDD device.
In particular, it is an object of this invention to provide an actuator resonance testing
device and method that avoids the use of laser-based testing equipment.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an actuator resonance testing device and
method that can be used even on an actuator that is not part of a fully-assembled HDD
device.
To achieve these and other advantages, and in accordance with the purposes of the
invention, as embodied and broadly described, the invention provides for an actuator

resonance tester for a disk drive, comprising: an actuator arm movable in a horizontal
direction, an accelerometer attached to the actuator arm for measuring the horizontal
acceleration of the actuator arm, and a processor for determining the resonance of the
actuator arm based on the horizontal acceleration measured by the accelerometer.
The actuator resonance tester may further comprise a voice coil and a voice coil motor,
wherein the voice coil and the voice coil motor operate to move the actuator arm in the
horizontal direction. The actuator resonance tester for a disk drive may also comprise a
pivot around which the actuator arm moves in a rotational direction. The actuator
resonance tester for a disk drive may also comprise one or more weights formed on the
end of the actuator arm to simulate the mass of the hard disk drive heads.
The actuator resonance tester may also comprise a base attached to a first end of the
pivot, and a test housing attached to the base and to a second end of the pivot. The base
may be formed of a material heavy enough to dampen ambient vibrations in the
resonance tester. The base and the test housing may also bee chosen to provide the pivot
with proper boundary conditions to simulate true boundary conditions of a fullyassembled hard disk drive device.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily
apparent from the description that follows, with reference to the accompanying drawings,
in which:
FIG. 1 is a graph for showing the natural frequencies of an actuator arm structure;
FIG. 2 is an overhead view of a test station for an actuator resonance tester according to a
preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a side view of the test station shown in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the actuator resonance tester according to a preferred
embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
A simple and affordable actuator resonance tester has been provided for testing the
actuator resonance for a disk drive, even when assembly of the disk drive has not been
completed.
FIG. 2 is an overhead view of a test station for an actuator resonance tester according to a
preferred embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 3 is a side view of the test
station shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the test station 100 includes a base
10, an actuator or actuator arm 20, a voice coil 30, a voice coil motor 40, a test housing
50, an accelerometer 60, a pivot 70, and a plurality of head weights 80.

The base 10 and the test housing 50 are designed to simulate the boundary conditions of a
fully-assembled HDD device. This is accomplished by performing a finite element
analysis, or finite element method (FEM), on the fully-assembled HDD device to
determine the proper mass and geometry for the housing 50. The base 10 is chosen to be
of a heavy material to counter vibrational interference.
The actuator arm 20 is attached to the base 10 via the pivot 70. The voice coil 30 is
formed on the actuator arm 20 and is controlled by the voice coil motor 40. Based on the
operation of the voice coil motor 40, the voice coil 30 will move the actuator arm 20
rotationally back and forth around the pivot 70 within a limited arc of motion.
Because of the tolerances of the system, as the actuator pivots horizontally around the
pivot 70, it will also have a certain amount of inherent horizontal motion as well. The
amount of motion will be greatest at the end of the actuator arm 20 where the r/w heads
will be attached. In particular, the actuator is attached to a suspension, which is in turn
attached to the r/w heads. As noted above, the range of this horizontal motion must be
kept below a very tight tolerance to avoid the problem of improper head alignment.
In the preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, an accelerometer 60 is placed on
the actuator arm 20 to measure the horizontal motion. This accelerometer is oriented to
measure only horizontal motion, and is preferably chosen to be as small as possible to
minimize its effect on the actuator resonance. The accelerometer used in the preferred
embodiment is a ENDEVICO Model 22 PICOMIN piezoelectric accelerometer.
The system carries out the testing process without complete assembly of the HDD device.
In order to simulate the actual operation of the HDD with the proper distribution of
weight, the plurality of head weights 80 are attached to the ends of the actuator arm 20.
This is also the reason that the accelerometer 60 is chosen to be as small as possible. The
weight of the accelerometer 60 will influence the operation of the actuator arm 20, but if
it is small enough, this influence can be neglected.
In the laser-based test, the testing focuses on the actual heads, to determine their
movement. Since there are no heads in the testing device of the current invention, a
different area of focus must be determined for the accelerometer. This is accomplished by
performing a finite element method analysis on the actuator arm 20 to determine the best
point on the actuator arm 20 to approximate head motion. Once this optimal point is
determined, a proper correction factor is determined using the fine element method so
that head motion can be accurately approximated.
The actual control of the actuator resonance tester is described below with reference to
FIG. 4, which is a block diagram of the actuator resonance tester according to a preferred
embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4, the voice coil motor 40
receives a control signal from a signal generator 5, via an audio amplifier 15. The voice
coil motor 40 then moves the voice coil 30, which is attached to the actuator arm 20,
thereby moving the actuator in both an intentional horizontal direction, and an
unintentional vertical direction. The accelerometer 60 then detects the horizontal motion

and sends a signal to a computer 45 via a charge amplifying device 25 and an A/D
converting device 35.
The signal generator 5 and the audio amplifier 15 provide signals to the voice coil motor
40 to horizontally move the actuator arm 20 attached to the voice coil 30. These signals
are preferably comparable to signals that would be used during normal operation, so that
the resultant measurements are a good indication of how the HDD device would operate
under normal conditions.
In this design, the signal generator 5 and the computer 45 can be the same unit. In this
case, a sound card on the computer 45 can perform the function of the signal generator 5.
In addition, the function of the A/D converting device 35 can be either performed by a
separate A/D converter or by a sound card on the computer 45. If cost is a primary
concern, then a sound card is preferable for the A/D converting device, since a sound card
is significantly cheaper than an A/D converter of sufficient quality.
As the actuator arm 20 moves laterally based on the signals supplied by the signal
generator 5 and audio amplifier 15, the accelerometer 60 will measure the horizontal
motion of the actuator arm 20. The accelerometer 60 supplies a signal indicative of the
horizontal motion of the actuator arm 20 to a computer 45 via the charge amplifiing
device 25 and the A/D converting device 35.
The computer 45 in turn processes the signal by performing a fast Fourier transform
(FFT) on it. Preferably this is done with commercially available FFT analysis software,
although other means of processing the data may be used.
By using a computer to analyze the data from the accelerometer, the system avoids the
need for a digital signal analyzer that may cost upwards of $30,000. In contrast, the
computer could cost in the range of $1000-2000.
The present invention has been described by way of a specific exemplary embodiment,
and the many features and advantages of the present invention are apparent from the
written description. Thus, it is intended that the appended claims cover all such features
and advantages of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will
readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact
construction and operation ad illustrated and described. Hence, all suitable modifications
and equivalents may be resorted to as falling within the scope of the invention.
Inventors:
Koo, Ja Choon (Santa Clara, CA)
Nguyen, Tu (San Jose, CA)
Long, Wilson (San Jose, CA)
Application Number:
09/093936
Publication Date:
11/09/1999

Filing Date:
06/09/1998
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation
Assignee:
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon, KR)
Primary Class:
73/862.541
Other Classes:
360/75, 360/77.04, G9B/33.024
International Classes:
G11B21/16; G11B33/08; G11B33/10; G11B21/16; G11B33/08; G11B33/00; (IPC1-7):
G11B5/00
Field of Search:
73/862.544, 73/1.15, 73/1.56, 73/579, 360/104, 360/106, 360/109, 360/105, 360/69,
360/75, 360/78.07, 360/78.08, 360/78.09, 360/77.04, 360/77.02
View Patent Images:
Download PDF 5979249
PDF help
US Patent References:
Disk drive with rotatable diamond-shaped
5130871
July, 1992 Whitmore360/104
actuator arm
August,
4040103Shock force compensating system
White
360/75
1977
Ads by Google

Warner actuators
for agriculture / construction & heavy duty industrial machines
www.warneractuators.co.uk

tachIOn PCIe Flash SSD


1,000,000 IOPs, PCIe, Flash SSD hardware RAID, world's fastest
www.virident.com

Dongjin Machinery CO.,LTD


Dongjin can supply the custom made machinery in Korea. Since 1980.
www.djmc.co.kr

Primary Examiner:
Williams, Hezron
Assistant Examiner:
Kwok, Helen C.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jones Volentine L. L. P.
Claims:
What is claimed is:
1. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, comprising:
an actuator arm movable in a horizontal direction;
an accelerometer attached to the actuator arm for measuring a horizontal acceleration of
the actuator arm;

a processor for determining the resonance of the actuator arm based on the horizontal
acceleration measured by the accelerometer.

2. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 1, further comprising:
a voice coil; and
a voice coil motor,
wherein the voice coil and the voice coil motor operate to move the actuator arm in the
horizontal direction.

3. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 1, further comprising a
pivot around which the actuator arm moves in a rotational direction.
4. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 3, further comprising:
a base attached to a first end of the pivot; and
a test housing attached to the base and to a second end of the pivot.

5. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 4, wherein the base is
formed of a material heavy enough to dampen ambient vibrations in the resonance tester.
6. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 5, wherein the base
and the test housing are chosen to provide the pivot with proper boundary conditions to
simulate true boundary conditions of a fully-assembled hard disk drive device.
7. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive,, as recited in claim 1, wherein the
processor determines the resonance of the actuator arm using a fast Fourier transform.
8. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 1, further comprising
one or more weights formed on the end of the actuator arm to simulate the mass of hard
disk drive heads.
9. An actuator resonance tester for a disk drive, as recited in claim 1, wherein the
accelerometer is a piezoelectric accelerometer.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS


This application makes reference to, incorporates the same herein, and claims all benefits
accruing under 35 U.S.C. 119 from an application for Balancing Device Of Actuator In
Hard Disk Drive earlier filed in the Korean Industrial Property Office on 17 Oct. 1994
and there assigned Ser. No. 26494/1994.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Technical Field
The present invention relates to a hard disk apparatus, and in particular, to a balance
device of an actuator in a hard disk apparatus for balancing an actuator arm which rotates
about a pivot bearing.
Background Art
In general, a hard disk apparatus of a rotary actuator type, for example, as shown in U.S.
Pat. No. 5,146,450 for Method And Apparatus For Bearing To Comb Attachment issued
to Brooks et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,305,169 for Rotary Actuator Disk Drive issued to
Anderson et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,363,262 for Magnetic Disk Apparatus And Method For
Manufacturing The Same issued to Kawakami, U.S. Pat. No. 5,369,538 for Rotary Disk
Drive Actuator issued to Moe et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 5,404,636 for Method Of
Assembling A Disk Drive Actuator issued to Stefansky et al., is constructed with a
generally, rectangularly shaped base serving as a frame accommodating a single circular
disk or a plurality of circular disks coaxially mounted in a stack upon a spindle driven by
a motor mounted on a base to provide a plurality of cylindrical base surfaces that serve as
a memory into which binary information may be written and read. An actuator is
mounted upon the base by a pivot bearing such as a threaded fastener to freely rotate
about the longitudinal axis of pivot, and a voice coil motor assembly is positioned on the
base to respond to electrical control signals and thereby arcuately displace a proximal end
of the actuator. An actuator arm supports, at its distal end, a single head gimbal assembly
or a plurality of head gimbal assemblies with electromagnetic transducers commonly
known as read/write heads corresponding to the distinct separate cylindrical base surfaces
of the disks that serves as memories.
Head gimbal assemblies are flexible and available in different designs such as those noted
in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,724,500 for Mechanism For Preventing Shock Damage
To Head Slider Assemblies And Disks In Rigid Disk Drive issued to Dalziel, and U.S.
Pat. No. 4,797,763 for Compact Magnetic Head Flexible Suspension issued to Levy et
al.; and are mounted onto the actuator arm by way of, for example, a bolt and mold finger
protruding from a nut plate as is mentioned in U.S. Pat. No. 4,912,583 for Clamp For
Mounting Head-Load Beam Slider Arm In A Disk Drive issued to Hinlein, a ball bearing
and mold finger protruding from a base plate as is noted in U.S. Pat. No. 5,185,683 for
Suspension Arm Mounting Assembly issued to Oberg, or a boss with corresponding
mounting holes as is represented by in U.S. Pat. No. 5,262,911 for Apparatus And

Method For Mounting Transducer Heads In A Hard Disk Drive issued to Cain et al. The
base surfaces of the disk are typically coated with a magnetically sensitive material that
responds to fields created by corresponding actuator heads, to enable the actuator heads
to either write bits of information at selected locations along tracks formed on the surface
of the disk, or to read information from those tracks. Generally, a disk continuously
rotates in a single direction while the voice coil motor assembly acts upon the proximal
end of the actuator arm to arcuately displace the proximal arm relative to motor and
thereby cause the distal ends of actuator arm to radially position the heads along the
corresponding base surface of the disk. A cover is then mounted upon the upper surface
of the base, to enclose disks, actuator and voice coil motor assembly, and to thereby seal
the interior of disk drive in order to protect the environment where the disks reside from
dust and contaminants.
If the hard disk apparatus is constructed to accommodate a plurality of circular disks, the
actuator arm must accommodate a corresponding number of head gimbal assemblies. In
both constructions however, the actuator is often mass imbalanced with its left and right
portions rotating about pivot bearing, and the imbalance of the actuator imposes an
adverse influence on the seek time, vibration characteristic, and servo characteristic of the
disk drive. In an effort to improve mass imbalance of the rotary actuator, some rotary
actuators such as those noted, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,772,974 for Compact Head
And Disk Assembly issued to Moon et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 5,305,169 for Rotary
Actuator Disk Drive issued to Anderson et al., carry a counterweight for mass balancing
any imbalances presented by an actuator arm supporting a head gimbal assembly at one
end of a pivot bearing. In Anderson '169, a balance weight of non-magnetic material is
inserted by insertion molding into a plastic coil support arm supporting a voice coil motor
assembly so as to achieve mass balance with the actuator arm structure. In these mass
balancing techniques however, I have observed that not only is it difficult to achieve mass
balance with an actuator arm structure rotating about its pivot bearing axis when the
actuator arm supports, at its distal end, a plurality of head gimbal assemblies instead of a
single head gimbal assembly, but that these techniques are also costly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved and
inexpensive balancing device for an actuator in a hard disk drive.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a method for mass balancing an
actuator arm with a balancing device capable of being assembled with a head gimbal
assembly in a relatively simple manner.
In order to achieve these and other objects, the present invention contemplates upon a
balance gimbal assembled and mounted onto a distal end of an actuator arm to mass
balance any imbalances presented when actuator rotates about its pivot bearing and to
thereby minimize response to acceleration forces having components acting
perpendicularly to the actuator axis. Specifically, the present invention contemplates upon
an actuator arm having a mounting hole at a distal end of the arm, with the actuator arm

carrying a head gimbal assembly and a balance gimbal. The balance gimbal which has a
circular, cylindrical throat protruding from one end, is assembled with the actuator arm
by mounting the circular, cylindrical throat into the mounting hole of the actuator arm
and inserting a rotary bearing into the circular, cylindrical throat to secure the circular,
cylindrical throat against the opposite surface of the mounting hole, so as to mass balance
the actuator arm when the actuator rotates about its axis of rotation.
The present invention is more specifically described in the following paragraphs by
reference to the drawings attached only by way of example.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A more complete appreciation of the present invention, and many of the attendant
advantages thereof, will become readily apparent as the same becomes better understood
by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with
the accompanying drawings in which like reference symbols indicate the same or similar
components, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an inner construction of a conventional head disk
drive;
FIG. 2 is a plane view illustrating an actuator of a conventional hard disk drive having a
balancing device;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the conventional balancing device;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating an actuator arm having a balancing device
constructed according to the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a balancing device constructed according to the
principle of the present invention; and
FIG. 6A and 6B are a respectively plane view and a right sectional view illustrating a
portion of a balancing device shown in FIG. 4, respectively, in which the balancing
device is mounted to a mounting hole of an actuator arm according to the present
invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1 which illustrates a hard disk
drive 10 of a rotary actuator type showing its cover removed. The disk drive 10 has a
housing having a substantially rectangular shaped base 6 serving as a frame providing a
major interior surface accommodating at least one circular disk 12 coaxially mounted
upon a spindle shaft 8 of motor fixed on base 6, an actuator 16 mounted upon pivot
bearing 14 so as to freely rotate about the longitudinal axis of pivot bearing 14, a voice
coil motor assembly 4 mounted onto base 6 so as to serve as drive mechanism for rotating

the actuator 16 when a control current flows through coil by an interaction of magnetic
fluxes produced individually by the coil and magnet placed therein. An actuator 16
including an actuator arm 18 supports, at its distal end, an electromagnetic transducer
head. As the disk 15 rotates during operation, the transducer head reads or writes
information on or from the disk 12 in a manner such that the transducer head is kept
narrowly above the disk surface.
As shown in FIG. 1, the hard disk drive 10 only has a single circular disk 12; accordingly,
only one head gimbal assembly 22 is necessary to accommodate a singular disk 12. In
order to accommodate a plurality of circular disks 12, however, the actuator arm
assembly 18 may be constructed in a comb-like structure having a plurality of arms
accommodating, at its distal end, a corresponding plurality of head gimbal assemblies 22.
That is, the number of head gimbal assemblies 22 may be adjusted in accordance with the
number of the circular disks 12 and the head gimbal assemblies 22 are installed at the
actuator arm 18. When the hard disk 10 is constructed to accommodate either a single
circular disk or a plurality of circular disks, however, the actuator arm is often mass
imbalanced with its left and right portions rotating about the pivot bearing, and the
imbalance of the actuator arm imposes adverse influence on seek time, vibration
characteristic, and servo characteristic of the disk drive. In order to improve mass
imbalance of the rotary actuator, conventional art typically relies upon a balance plate 40
as compositely shown in FIG. 2 and individually shown in FIG. 3 as a balancing device
for compensating the mass imbalance of the actuator arm 18 as the actuator 16 rotates
about the pivot bearing 14.
Balance plate 40 as shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 is slightly different from that disclosed in
Anderson '169, and is typically mounted upon one side of the actuator 16 by adhesive.
For every additional head gimbal assembly that is needed to accommodate a
corresponding disk 12 however, the balance plate 40 has to be adjusted and extra weight
must be added. As a result, I have observed the following problems: First, it is difficult to
assemble the proper balance plate in order to mass balance the actuator. Second, the
assembling characteristic of the balance plate may be degraded because adhesive is used
to mount the balance plate onto the actuator. Third, it is expensive to assemble such a
balance plate because it has to be casted. Fourth, if the number of head gimbal assemblies
increases, the actuator arm becomes heavier, and that results in a deterioration of the
performance of the hard disk drive.
Turning now to FIG. 4, a novel balancing device is illustrated as contemplated by the
present invention for mass balancing an actuator arm 18 in a hard disk drive 10 as the
actuator 16 rotates about its axis of rotation 15 coaxially positioned through the center of
rotation of pivot bearing 14. As shown in FIG. 4, the balancing device as constructed
according to the principles of the present invention is referred to as a balance gimbal 24
of non-magnetic material, designed to counter-balance any mass imbalances presented by
the actuator arm 18 as the actuator 16 rotates about the pivot bearing 14. This balance
gimbal is constructed with a balance plate having a predetermined mass, and a circular,
cylindrical throat 28 disposed at one end of balance plate and protruded from an overside
of the balance plate. The circular, cylindrical throat 28 includes an opening 26 for

receiving low friction rotary bearing such as a ball bearing 30 when the balance device is
mounted onto a distal end of the actuator arm 18. The circular, cylindrical throat 28 of the
balance plate may be formed by a machining process.
FIG. 5 illustrates the actuator 16 including the novel balance gimbal 24 as constructed
according to the principles of the present invention. The actuator arm 18 should have a
comb-shaped structure with a mounting hole 20 at a distal end of each arm to
accommodate the balance gimbal 24 as well as individual head gimbal assembly 22. As
shown in FIG. 5, the balance gimbal 24 as well as the head gimbal 22 are mounted onto
the actuator arm 18 by way of the mounting hole 20. Specifically, the circular, cylindrical
throat 28 of the balance gimbal 24 is placed into the mounting hole 20 of the first arm,
and is then secured with the actuator arm 18 by forcing a ball bearing 30 into the opening
26 of the circular, cylindrical throat 28 and thereby expand the circular, cylindrical throat
28 to secure against the opposite surface of the mounting hole 20 of the actuator arm 18.
A rotary bearing characterized by low frictional forces such as ball bearing 30 is
inexpensive and provides good holding power, ease of installation, and a low profile
assembly and can be removed by simply pressing the ball bearing 30 out of the circular,
cylindrical throat 28. The use of a ball bearing for the gimbal also allows a lower gimbal
point and provides greater stability and better flying characteristics. Individual head
gimbal assembly 22 including a transducer head is then mounted onto the mounting hole
20 of each succeeding arm of the actuator arm assembly 18. Accordingly, the balance
gimbal 24 as constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention can
mass balance left and right portions of actuator arm 18 of the hard disk drive 10 as the
actuator 16 rotates about its axis of rotation.
FIG. 6A illustrates a plane view of the balance gimbal 24 having the circular, cylindrical
throat 28 and the head gimbal assembly 22 mounted onto the mounting hole 20 of the
actuator arm 18 according to the principles of the present invention. FIG. 6B illustrates a
right sectional view of one embodiment of how a balance gimbal 24 as assembled by way
of forcing the ball bearing 30 into the circular, cylindrical throat 28 via the mounting hole
20 of the actuator arm 18 can mass balance the actuator arm 18 accommodating, for
example, three successive head gimbal assemblies 22 as the actuator 16 rotates about the
pivot bearing 14. To prevent the mass imbalance of the actuator 16 accommodating three
head gimbal assemblies 22, the balance gimbal 24 is constructed to have the same weight
of that of a single head gimbal assembly 22. Accordingly, the mass of the balance gimbal
24 does not change or vary in dependence upon the number of head gimbal assembly 22
employed. The number of balance gimbals 24 however, may be adjusted in accordance
with the number of disks and corresponding head gimbal assemblies employed in the
hard disk drive.
Accordingly, it is possible to provide servo stability by assembling one balance gimbal 24
and then maintaining the actuator arm 18 at a constant weight. Also, it is possible to
assemble the balance gimbal 24 of the present invention and the head gimbal assembly 22
to the actuator arm 18 simultaneously in the same manner as described above. This
improves the actuator assembly process and increases assembly productivity. Moreover,

since the actuator 16 is maintained at a constant weight, the seek time, vibrating
characteristic and servo characteristic of the actuator 16 are improved.
While there have been illustrated and described what are considered to be preferred
embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that
various as changes and modifications may be made, and equivalents may be substituted
for elements thereof without departing from the true scope of the present invention. In
addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation to the teaching
of the present invention without departing from the central scope thereof. Therefore, it is
intended that the present invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed
as the best mode contemplated for carrying out the present invention, but that the present
invention includes all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.
Inventors:
Lim, Beoyng-cheol (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
08/541552
Publication Date:
12/29/1998
Filing Date:
10/10/1995
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation
Assignee:
SamSung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon, KR)
Primary Class:
360/264.1