Tai receives ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award

Manufacturing photo

Dr. Bruce L. Tai, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received the Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award recognizes the best journal paper during the past two years that leads to a significant contribution to manufacturing processes and systems. Tai received the award for his paper “High-Definition Metrology Enabled Surface Variation Control by Cutting Load Balancing,” published in ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering. His co-authors include Dr. Hai Trong Nguyen (Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam), Dr. Hui Wang (Florida State University), Jie Ren (Florida State University), Dr. S. Jack Hu (University of Michigan) and Dr. Albert Shih (University of Michigan).

BrucetaiThe paper presents a method to reduce surface variation in face milling processes based on high-definition metrology measurements. This method combines the approaches of varying feed rate and lateral cutter path planning to reduce overall cutting force variation along the feed direction and circumferential direction, respectively, thereby reducing the surface variation. Case studies showed an improvement by 25 percent in surface flatness.

“Surface flatness is a key factor in powertrain mating parts, such as engine blocks, engine heads and transmission valve bodies,” Tai said. “A tighter tolerance can prevent leakage and thus improve vehicle performance and reliability. The developed method can be easily implemented to benefit the automotive industry and perhaps many others too.”

Tai received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2011, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the National Taiwan University. His research interests broadly include additive manufacturing, machining processes and surgical tool design and analysis, and he has long-term collaborations with the automotive industry and medical doctors.

His recent honors include receiving the 2017 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Tai has also received two best paper awards at the ASME Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference in 2012 and 2013, respectively.