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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4836516, 13 pages
Research Article

Experimental Investigation into Vibration Characteristics for Damage Minimization in a Lapping Process

1Advanced Automation and Electronics Research Unit, National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand
2Western Digital (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Ayutthaya 13160, Thailand

Received 21 December 2015; Revised 9 February 2016; Accepted 14 February 2016

Academic Editor: Arturo Garcia-Perez

Copyright © 2016 J. Suwatthikul et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lapping machines are used in a hard disk rough lapping process where a workpiece (a wafer row bar) is locked with a robot arm and rubbed on a lap plate. In this process, the lap plate’s condition and lifetime are among important concerned factors. The lifetime can be too short due to the plate being accidentally scratched by the workpiece during lapping. This problem leads to undesired consequences such as machine downtime and excessive plate material usage. This paper presents an experimental investigation into vibration characteristics of passed and failed lapping scenarios and discusses a potential solution to minimize the serious damage so-called “plate scratch” which intermittently occurs in such process. The experimental results show that, by in situ monitoring vibration and utilizing artificial intelligence, damage minimization can be possible.