If you read Metal Powder Report, it’s more than likely that you design, manufacture, use, buy, sell, specify, provide materials for or subcontract cutting tools, or their holders and adapters. Perhaps a number of these.

Whether you spend your entire working life in the cutting-tool world or just visit occasionally, the vast, comprehensive, international standard ISO13399 was written for you.

What is ISO13399?

Let’s look first at some basics: what it is, why and how ISO (the International Standards Organisation) is involved, and why the PM industry needs the standard.

ISO 13399 is an international technical standard for ‘cutting tool data representation and exchange’. Responsible for this standard, and many others, is ISO technical committee TC29, which deals with ‘Small Tools,’ everything from hammers and chisels to abrasive grinding wheels. But the ‘small tools’ we’re talking about here are the tools and adapters which are fitted to machine tools, larger entities which are dealt with by a different ISO committee. It is easy to see that cutting inserts made in Italy (for example) must fit precisely into a milling cutter made in Brazil and the combination might in turn be fitted on a Japanese milling machine. Furthermore, production of the milling cutter may be subcontracted to a firm in South Korea and both original and copy tools must be indistinguishable in both angular and linear dimensions. This may sound simple but is less so when you consider that the companies concerned may all employ different computer systems and differing CAD and CAM programs and therefore may set up their machines with different datum points, which may not even be in the same plane. In addition, a dimension marked d1 in one system might be d3 in another.

I first came across this problem about 50 years ago while visiting a Polish company with a friend who represented US carbide manufacturer GE Carboloy in Europe. Inserts made in Detroit, USA, were falling out of the seatings in milling cutters made in Katowice, Poland. In summary, we found that the currer drawings made in Detroit had been modified locally for compatibility with Polish setup and datum systems, making just the slight difference needed to create the problem. By the time TC29’s Working Group 34 (WG34) began its work, similar difficulties were being experienced around the world.

This article appeared the November–December 2019 issue of Metal Powder Report. Log in to your free materialstoday.com profile to access the article.

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