The American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE) has constituted a number of Technical leadership Communities (TLCs) in an effort to enhance the technical strength of the society and promote increased participation of the members in charting the Society’s technical directions. In the future, these TLCs will be chaired by individual Board members with responsibility for particular technology areas. At the present time, the committees will be headed by one serving member of the Board and one appointed chair to facilitate an orderly transition. Six technical areas have been identified with Precision Machine Design being one of them.


Technical Scope

The Precision Machine Design Technical Leadership Committee (PMDTLC) will serve as a focal point and technical resource for ASPE members interested in the full range of precision machine design principles and techniques employed in the design, development and production of precision machines and systems. The goal is to create and provide a vibrant technical community where members can discuss topics of mutual interest, learn from the expertise and experience of other members, and contribute ideas and knowledge to help solve technical challenges and questions faced by fellow members. Topical areas addressed by the Committee will include, but are not limited to:

  • Fundamentals principles of Precision Machine Design
  • Error budgeting techniques
  • Precision Machine and systems analysis techniques
    • Finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer tailored forprecision machine design
  • Design challenges to match static and dynamic performance to the error budget and process requirements and the project’s budget
  • Project management
    • Technical specification, scope management and the interaction with commercial considerations
  • Machine component design, selection, and optimization
    • Machine structure
    • Flexure systems
    • Drives
    • Kinematic couplings
    • Actuators
    • Sensors
    • Servo control
    • External disturbance rejection
    • Component handling and loading
  • Mounting and actuation of optical elements
  • Linear and rotary bearing design, fabrication, and testing
    • Hydrodynamic
    • Air (gas) hydrostatic
    • Oil (liquid) hydrostatic
    • Rolling element
    • Lubrication
  • Design techniques for achieving the typical requirements of:
    • High stiffness (static and dynamic)
    • Low moving mass
    • High servo bandwidth
    • All within budget and timescale requirements
  • Design synthesis
    • Topology optimization
    • Synthetic materials, e.g. micro lattice structures
  • Thermal management
    • Issues and SOTA in minimizing their effects
    • Conformal cooling channels, i.e. as enabled by additive manufacturing
  • Materials selection and development
    • Thermo‐mechanical properties
    • Damping properties
    • Metallurgy
    • Polymer systems
    • Glasses and ceramics
  • Process development tools and modelling (e.g. cutting and abrasives processes)
  • Metrology: In‐situ component measurement and machine stability/position measurement
  • Design, specification, and testing of machine environments (thermal, acoustic and floor‐borne vibrations)
  • Machine system safety

Responsibilities and Deliverables

The responsibilities and deliverables of the PMDTLC include

  • Keep abreast of and understand the state‐of‐the‐art (SOTA)
  • Advise the Annual Meeting Chair on the SOTA, including
    • Suggestions of relevant topics for conference sessions
    • Recommendations for Keynote Speakers and Invited Talks
    • Organize a technical session in each Annual Meeting; and solicit qualified conference papers and speakers, in consultation with the Annual Meeting Chair, that reflect and advance the SOTA
    • Recommend topical meetings in the area and assist the Topical Meeting Chair
    • Prepare review papers on a regular basis (approximately one every three years) on selected topics of interest for publication in Precision Engineering
    • Report to ASPE Membership each year: activities, plans, and learnings of the PMDTLC
    • Develop and maintain on‐line resources (web sites, blogs etc.) to promote Precision Machine Design and provide discussion forums.


Committee Governance and Structure

The PMDTLC will have a Chair and Vice‐chair who will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the group, recruiting new members, and ensuring the vitality and continuity of the Committee. The Chair will be a Member of the ASPE Board of Directors who has relevant expertise in one or more aspects of Precision Machine Design, and is elected to this post (and a seat on the BOD) by the ASPE membership. The Vice‐chair will be selected by the Chair and approved by the TLC membership for a term of two years. In addition, the Committee may, at their discretion, identify members to be responsible for one or more of the periodic responsibilities and deliverables.


Committee Operations

The PMDTLC membership will convene at the Annual Meeting to monitor progress on the deliverables to the Society, plan for future activities, and conduct discussions among the membership on topics of interest, emerging technologies, and future directions. In addition, the officers may elect to conduct web‐based meetings that are open to the membership (approximately quarterly) to discuss Committee business and plans. It is expected that service on the various activities and deliverables of the TLC will become an entry point and stepping stone for new members interested in future leadership roles in the Society.


Interactions with the Society

The PMDTLC will report to the ASPE Executive Committee on a regular basis to keep them apprised of PMTLC activities and plans, and ensure coordination with the activities of the other TLCs.



Once the PMDTLC is fully functioning it is expected to consist of members with a broad range of interests and expertise in various aspects of precision manufacturing processes and equipment, and broad representation from industry, government, and academia. Committee members will be encouraged to actively solicit and recruit new members, and if sufficient interest exists to create new sub‐committees and special interest groups.