Product Creation and Development

Oliver Design

1997 to 1999 and 2003 to 2005

Oliver Design
was the World Leader in Disc Cleaning Technology (Capital Equipment) for the Hard Disc Drive (HDD) Industry.  They also designed and manufactured custom automation equipment for various customers in the HDD Industry.  At one point, 75% of all HDDs manufactured in the world were processed with Oliver Design equipment.  Oliver Design was purchased by Xyratex in 2005 (

Technologies Employed:  Ultrasonics, Megasonics, Servo Motors, Stepper Motors, Pneumatics (air cylinders and valves), PLCs, Heated and Filtered N2 Gas, Heated and Filtered DI Water, Mag-Lev Pumps, Mechanisms, Linear Actuators, Ball Screws, Belt Drives, Variable Speed Pumps, Welded Frames, CNC Machining and Sheet Metal.

At various positions (Senior Mechanical Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Manager, Director of Engineering, Director of R&D):

1.  O2K:  Automated Disc Cleaning System with a throughput of 2,000+ discs per hour (SEE PHOTO in slideshow above)

a)  Systems Engineering support

2.  Drum Dryer:  Custom automation solution for loading/unloading Cassettes (SEE VIDEO in slideshow above)

a)  Concept, Design and Detail

3.  O1K:  Automated Disc Cleaning System with a throughput of 1,000+ discs per hour (SEE PHOTO in slideshow above)

a)  System concept and design - unique ULPA air management methodology 

4.  Stand-Alone Dryer:  Hot DI Dryer for a HDD Company

a)  System concept and design - proprietary gas delivery apparatus

5.  Spiral Scrubber:  Internal development project

a)  System concept, design, detail, prototype

6.  Phoenix:  A complete re-design and upgrade to the O2K Disc Cleaning System

a)  Change to all Servo Control
b)  PLC in each Module
c)  Dryer Module - complete re-design (see details below)
d)  Scrubber Module - major re-engineering job
e)  Sonics Modules - updated
f)  Infeed Module - all new
g)  Cassette Cleaner Module - updated
h)  Conveyors - upgraded

Phoenix System Dryer Module:

Concept work and mechanical design of the Upper Chamber Assy (using SolidWorks)


The Upper Chamber Assy is a highly complex electro-mechanical system integrating high temperature process gas and DI water flow in an absolutely clean environment.  The system includes these features:


1.  Uniform, high temperature side-wall gas flow (concept - patent pending)

2.  Dual Hand-Off mechanism for transfer of discs from wet nest (attached to the primary servo lifter) to dry fingers (attached to a synchronized pair of servo motors) with zero particle generation.  This level of cleanliness is achieved with the use of metal pivot flexures (instead of particle generating ball bearings or bushings) and SS Bellows (used as air cylinders) inside the process area.  This entire gripper mechanism is capable of being installed/removed automatically (with the aid of a fixture and the main lifter) and a quick disconnect N2 line).

3.  Sliding quartz window/cover driven by a stepper motor.

4.  "Six O'clock Drip" removal utilizing a wicking mechanism based on semi-submerged floating features that are part of the wet nest assy (concept - patent pending).


The Dryer Module also includes the following:


1.  N2 Plumbing Tray - heated (120 C), filtered (0.003 micron) and regulated (mass flow controllers) the N2 gas that was used in the drying process.

2.  DI Water Tray - heated (90 C), filtered (0.02 micron), and controlled re-circulation, fill and drain functions that was used prior to the drying process.

3.  Horizontal Transfer - servo driven mechanism for transporting 100 discs into and out of the Dryer Module.

4.  Disc Lift Assy - pneumatic driven assy to transfer discs from Horizontal Transfer to cassettes on the Elevator.

4.  Elevator Assy with Conveyor - servo driven vertical assy and horizontal stepper driven assy for transporting cassettes up and down in the Module.

5.  Conveyors - various conveyors including a turntable for moving cassettes into and out of the Dryer Module.

6.  Control Panel – PLC, temp controllers, VFDs, pneumatic valves, etc.

Website Builder