Precision Manufacturing Technology

Reliably attaches the magnetic recording head to the actuator arm with an attitude and position for optimum assembly performance.



Swage Mounts

Swaging is the primary method of  attaching magnetic recording heads to the actuator in computer hard disk drives.  The swaging process involves passing a series of precision balls through the  hubs of swage mounts mounted to magnetic recording heads stacked in an assembly.  The balls plastically deform the swage mount hubs such that the heads are  precisely located by press fit into holes in the actuator arms. The actuator  locates the heads over the appropriate disk tracks during drive operation.  Failed magnetic recording heads attached by swaging can be removed and replaced  with good heads to lower manufacturing yield losses.

Before MMI's involvement, all swage mounts were turned on automatic lathes (screw machined). The data storage industry needed a lower cost, higher volume, more dimensionally capable supply solution that was scalable to very high volumes. MMI exceeded these goals by developing a manufacturing process that formed all part dimensions through precision stamping.

MMI continues to innovate swage mount products, processes, and testing to satisfy the needs of the fast paced data storage industry. We created the industry standard Universal Swage Tester (US Patent 5,948,997) to asses and optimize swaged connections.

Hard particles are transferred to parts exposed to traditional abrasive deburring methods. These particles cause failures at the head disk interface.  As magnetic recording head fly heights were further reduced, MMI developed near burr-free stamping and non abrasive deburring solutions.

MMI was the first to implement interferometer based metrology to control the flatness and shape of swage mount flanges to the 0.5µm (20µin) level. Programmed test and reference regions are used to mimic critical part datums and surfaces. This metrology is now an industry standard requirement to meet demanding head fly height, dynamic and read/write performance. MMI was also the first to model the swage process through finite element simulations to optimize part and system design and performance.

Today, MMI continues to lead the data storage industry with swage mount solutions.