Cutting Items

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Figure 1: Cutting Items

An optional collection of cutting items that SHOULD be provided for each independent edge or insert. If the CuttingItems are not present; it indicates there is no specific information with respect to each of the cutting items. This does not imply there are no cutting items – there MUST be at least one cutting item – but there is no specific information.

CuttingItems attributes:

Attribute Description Occurrence
count The number of cutting items. 1

A cutting item is the portion of the tool that physically removes the material from the workpiece by shear deformation. The cutting item can be either a single piece of material attached to the tool item or it can be one or more separate pieces of material attached to the tool item using a permanent or removable attachment. A cutting item can be comprised of one or more cutting edges. Cutting items include: replaceable inserts, brazed tips and the cutting portions of solid cutting tools.

MTConnect considers Cutting Items as part of the Cutting Tool. A Cutting Item MUST NOT exist in MTConnect unless it is attached to a cutting tool. Some of the measurements, such as FunctionalLength, MUST be made with reference to the entire cutting tool to be meaningful.

Figure 2: Cutting Item


CuttingItem attributes

Attribute Description Occurrence
indices The number or numbers representing the individual cutting item or items on the tool. 1
itemId The manufacturer identifier of this cutting item 0..1
manufacturers The manufacturers of the cutting item 0..1
grade The material composition for this cutting item 0..1


An identifier that indicates the cutting item or items these data are associated with. The value MUST be single numbers (“1”) or a comma separated set of individual elements ("1,2,3,4"), or as a inclusive range of values as in ("1-10") or any combination of ranges and numbers as in "1-4,6-10,22". There MUST NOT be spaces or non-integer values in the text representation.

Indices SHOULD start numbering with the inserts or cutting items furthest from the gauge line and increasing in value as the items get closer to the gauge line. Items at the same distance MAY be arbitrarily numbered.


The manufactures’ identifier for this cutting item that MAY be the its catalog or reference number. The value MUST be an XML NMTOKEN value of numbers and letters.


This optional element references the manufacturers of this tool. At this level the manufacturers will reference the Cutting Item specifically. The representation will be a comma (,) delimited list of manufacturer names. This can be any series of numbers and letters as defined by the XML type string.


This provides an implementation specific designation for the material composition of this cutting item.

CuttingItem elements

Element Description Occurrence
Description A free-form description of the cutting item. 0..1
Locus A free form description of the location on the cutting tool. 0..1
ItemLife The life of this cutting item. 0..3
Measurements A collection of measurements relating to this cutting item. 0..1


An optional free form text description of this cutting item.


Locus represents the location of the cutting item with respect to the cutting tool. For clarity, the words FLUTE, INSERT, and CARTRIDGE SHOULD be used to assist in noting the location of a cutting item. The Locus MAY be any free form text, but SHOULD adhere to the following rules:

1. The location numbering SHOULD start at the furthest cutting item (#1) and work it’s way back to the cutting item closest to the gauge line.
2. Flutes SHOULD be identified as such using the word FLUTE:. For example:

FLUTE: 1, INSERT: 2 - would indicate the first flute and the second furthest insert from the end of the tool on that flute.

3. Other designations such as CARTRIDGE MAY be included, but should be identified using upper case and followed by a colon (:).


Figure 3: Item Life

The value is the current value for the tool life. The value MUST be a number. Tool life is an option element which can have three types, either minutes for time based, part count for parts based, or wear based using a distance measure. One tool life can appear for each type, but there cannot be two entries of the same type. Additional types can be added in the future.

ItemLife attributes

These are optional attributes that can be used to further classify the operation type.

Attribute Description Occurrence
type The type of tool life being accumulated. MINUTES, PART_COUNT, or WEAR 1
countDirection Indicates if the tool life counts from zero to maximum or maximum to zero, The values MUST be one of UP or DOWN. 1
warning The point at which a tool life warning will be raised. 0..1
limit The end of life limit for this tool. If the countDirection is DOWN, the point at which this tool should be expired, usually zero. If the countDirection is UP, this is the upper limit for which this tool should be expired. 0..1
initial The initial life of the tool when it is new. 0..1

ItemLife type attribute

The value of type must be one of the following:

Value Description
MINUTES The tool life measured in minutes. All units for minimum, maximum, and warningLevel MUST be provided in minutes.
PART_COUNT The tool life measured in parts. All units for minimum, maximum, and warningLevel MUST be provided supplied as the number of parts.
WEAR The tool life measured in tool wear. Wear MUST be provided in millimeters as an offset to nominal. All units for minimum, maximum, and warningLevel MUST be given as millimeter offsets as well.

ItemLife direction attribute

The value of direction must be one of the following:

Value Description
DOWN The tool life counts down from the maximum to zero.
UP The tool life counts up from zero to the maximum.

CuttingItemMeasurement subtypes

These measurements are specific to an individual cutting item and MUST NOT be used for the measurement pertaining to an assembly. The following diagram will be used to for reference for the cutting item specific measurements.

The Code in the following table will refer to the acronym in the diagram. We will be referring to many diagrams to disambiguate all measurements of the cutting tools and items.

Figure 4: Cutting Tool
Figure 5: Cutting Item

Figure 6: Cutting Item Measurement Diagram
Figure 7: Cutting Item Drive Angle

The following CuttingItemMeasurements will refer to the diagrams above:

Measurement Code Description Units
CuttingReferncePoint CRP The theoretical sharp point of the cutting tool from which the major functional dimensions are taken. mm
CuttingEdgeLength L The theoretical length of the cutting edge of a cutting item over sharp corners. mm
DriveAngle DRVA Angle between the driving mechanism locator on a tool item and the main cutting edge degree
FlangeDiameter DF The dimension between two parallel tangents on the outside edge of a flange. mm
FunctionalWidth WF The distance between the cutting reference point and the rear backing surface of a turning tool or the axis of a boring bar. mm
IncribedCircleDiameter IC The diameter of a circle to which all edges of a equilateral and round regular insert are tangential. mm
PointAngle SIG The angle between the major cutting edge and the same cutting edge rotated by 180 degrees about the tool axis. degree
ToolCuttingEdgeAngle KAPR The angle between the tool cutting edge plane and the tool feed plane measured in a plane parallel the xy-plane. degree
ToolLeadAngle PSIR The angle between the tool cutting edge plane and a plane perpendicular to the tool feed plane measured in a plane parallel the xy-plane. degree
ToolOrientation N/A The angle of the tool with respect to the workpiece for a given process. The value is application specific. degree
WiperEdgeLength BS The measure of the length of a wiper edge of a cutting item. mm
StepDiameterLength SDLx The length of a portion of a stepped tool that is related to a corresponding cutting diameter measured from the cutting reference point of that cutting diameter to the point on the next cutting edge at which the diameter starts to change. mm
StepIncludedAngle STAx The angle between a major edge on a step of a stepped tool and the same cutting edge rotated 180 degrees about its tool axis. degree
CuttingDiameter DCx The nominal radius of a rounded corner measured in the XY-plane. mm
CuttingHeight HF The distance from the basal plane of the tool item to the cutting point. mm
CornerRadius RE The nominal radius of a rounded corner measured in the X Y-plane. mm
Weight WT The total weight of the cutting tool in grams. The force exerted by the mass of the cutting tool. grams
FunctionalLength LFx The distance from the gauge plane or from the end of the shank of the cutting tool, if a gauge plane does not exist, to the cutting reference point determined by the main function of the tool. This measurement will be with reference to the Cutting Tool and MUST NOT exist without a cutting tool. mm
ChamferFlatLength BCH The flat length of a chamfer. mm
ChamferWidth CHW The width of the chamfer. mm
InsertWidth W1 W1 is used for the insert width when an inscribed circle diameter is not practical. mm