Acknowledging the ambitious scope of their endeavor, officials of Siemens PLM Software and Sandvik Coromant launched an initiative to standardize the structure and content of cutting tool vendor catalogs. Siemens’ director of product marketing for the NX CAM line business Vynce Paradise, and Sandvik Coromant manager of business development Mike Verkamp, said the project had been in progress for several months, and proceeding from the established ISO and STEP standards.

The goals of the Standardized Cutting Tool Catalog Initiative are 1) to help machine shops and other manufacturers manage the problem of determining cutting tool definitions and data, in a useable, online format; and 2) to integrate cutting tools efficiently into their production systems. Based on ISO, STEP, and other industry standards, the online catalogs that Siemens and Sandvik will develop would help engineers make informed decisions with greater access to tooling data. The task of identifying optimal, preferred, recommended, or specified tooling for a specific task would be simplified.

The two project leaders also acknowledged their intention (and some preliminary discussion) to include other tooling brands in their effort, for example, Sandvik rivals Kennametal and Iscar, among others. Importantly, the database they will develop will be available for on an open basis throughout the industry.

The partners said their initiative addresses three important areas of tooling selection: the classification structure; tool attribute definitions; and a standardized approach to 3D model definitions for cutting tool components, and how those can be assembled.

“Sandvik Coromant has recognized the tremendous technological development in machining processes, materials, and tooling which is driving the need for virtual machining capabilities,” Verkamp related. “Working with data in varying formats can be a challenge, but we expect that this initiative will not only offer manufacturers a standard format for vital cutting tool data, but will simplify their CAM and virtual machining systems, helping them better optimize productivity and profitability.”