One of the issues in VCM rotary actuation in hard disk drives (HDDs) is the excessive sensitivity of the system to the skew angle. The rotation of the VCM from the inner diameter (ID) to the outer diameter (OD) of the disk results in an angle of skew between the read/write head and the track. The difference in skew angle, between the ID to the OD can be as large as 25 to 30 degrees in conventional 3.5″ and 2.5″ HDDs. A large skew angle affects the slider’s flying performance and off-track capability, causing an increase in side reading and writing, and thus reduces the achievable recording density. Large skewed actuation also complicates the position error signal calibration process in the hard disk drive servo loop. This paper presents a 4 link mechanism which can be designed to achieve near zero skew actuation in hard disk drives. The profiles of the arm, suspension, and links can be designed and optimized such that the skew angle is close to zero while the VCM actuator rotates from the ID to the OD. Study shows that the 4-link mechanism does not degrade the resonance performance along the tracking direction compared to a conventional actuator.

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