RESEARCH PAPERS: Design Automation Papers

The Optimal Design of a Rotary Type Actuator for Magnetic Disk Drives

[+] Author and Article Information
W. D. Robertson

Low End Disk Storage Systems, Digital Equipment Corporation, Shrewsbury, MA 01545-4112

G. A. Gabriele

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering & Mechanics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590

J. Mech., Trans., and Automation 110(4), 452-458 (Dec 01, 1988) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3258944 History: Received October 06, 1987; Online November 19, 2009


One of the most important assemblies in any computer disk drive is the actuator which positions the read/write coil over the disk. Historically, actuators have been of the linear type, but in recent years the rotary actuator has become more popular because of its lower inertia and higher reliability. In this paper we describe the optimization of the rotary actuator geometry to achieve a minimum seek time. An objective function which approximates seek-time is derived based on the polar moment of inertia and the sweep of the actuator. A set of constraints is also developed which control mechanical resonances, skew angles, and physical position of the actuator. An optimal solution is presented as well as a sensitivity study of the final design. It is shown that the final design is relatively insensitive to changes in the problem parameters. Additionally, the sensitivity analysis reveals that a static balance constraint which is originally ignored, is not necessary.

Copyright © 1988 by ASME
Topics: Actuators , Design , Disks
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