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The influence of ion current density on the thickness of coatings deposited in a vacuum arc setup has been investigated to optimize the coating porosity. A planar probe was used to measure the ion current density distribution across plasma flux. A current density from 20 to 50 A/m2 was obtained, depending on the probe position relative to the substrate center. TiN coatings were deposited onto the cutting inserts placed at different locations on the substrate, and SEM was used to characterize the surfaces of the coatings. It was found that low-density coatings were formed at the decreased ion current density. A quantitative dependence of the coating thickness on the ion current density in the range of 20-50 A/m2 were obtained for the films deposited at substrate bias of 200 V and nitrogen pressure 0.1 Pa, and the coating porosity was calculated. The coated cutting inserts were tested by lathe machining of the martensitic stainless steel AISI 431. The results may be useful for controlling ion flux distribution over large industrial-scale substrates.