How to Choose a Press Brake
Learn how to choose the correct press brake for your machine, to ensure top notch safety.
Choosing a new press brake to buy from all of the options out there can be tough. This is mostly because you have to go through several different types of press brakes before you find the one that is right for you. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it comes to these machines, so if you’re looking for a little help in choosing the best one for you then you’ve come to the right place.
The Different Types of Press Brakes
First you need to understand how many main kinds of press brakes there are. Once you’ve settled on one, you can then move on to the more specific aspects.
Perhaps the most popular kind is the manual press brake. These need to be operated manually as the name suggests. These press brakes are great for mass producing specific angles and bent sizes.
Next up is the hydraulic press brake. These kinds offer more control thanks to their hydraulic cylinders. Some hydraulic press brakes are up acting. These are a bit more complex to operate but they come with a smaller risk of injury. Other hydraulic presses are down acting, which are easier and more accurate to use but can be susceptible to more mechanical repairs. Last is the CNC type press brake which stands for Computer Numerically Controlled. These are the most precise of all press brakes thanks to their integrated computer technology, but as you might expect, they are also by far the most expensive kinds. If you can afford them, they are worth every dollar thanks to their ability to adjust for thickness, width and bending angles at incredible levels of accuracy.
Air Vs Bottom Bending
Once you’ve settled on a main type of press brake, you’ll have to decide which of the two bending methods you’ll prefer: air or bottom bending.
Air bending has a weaker force impact and requires the bending angle of the sheet metal to take the spring back into consideration. This is done by determining the thickness of the punching blade as well as the sheet metal itself. An air bending press brake is a great choice for people working with thinner materials such as sheet metal as they do not need too much power to be shaped.
Bottom bending shapes the metal with much more force and it also seriously reduces the spring back that occurs with air bending. Depending on the press brake you have, it may get rid of it altogether. This method is preferred by people who use metal sheets thicker than 2mm or those who need a lot of angular precision.
Tandem vs Robotic Configuration
Your press brake can come either as a tandem press brake or a robotic press brake. Understanding these differences is essential for getting the best machine for the job.
A tandem press brake uses two press brakes that operate together. It is a great option for working with parts that are longer and thicker than average. 10 meters in length is a good size for tandem press brakes, but you can even opt for a tridem press brake for parts that are 15 meters long.
The robotic press brake uses an automated system for bending its parts. It requires minimal supervision and is able to select the correct angle or bend on a case-by-case basis depending on what is fed into the machine. While more expensive than tandem press brakes, these machines are often associated with massive improvements in overall productivity.
Extra Tips on Getting the Best Press Brake
If you really want to go the extra mile when selecting one you need to keep as many things as possible in mind. Many different components go into a press brake and they should all be considered carefully.
When it comes to miscellaneous tools, you might want to look into hydraulic clamps for shorter change times. Looking at the clamping length will also have an impact on your overall accuracy.
The press brake’s back gauge is useful to adjust by centering the bending line where you want it to be. You ideally will want a press brake that comes with an accurate back gauge.
The angle control is another important part of any press brake. It helps make up for any potential inaccuracies. You’ll want one that can be used with as many different sizes as possible, as some only work with smaller parts.
If you need any more help or have any further questions about getting the right press brake, contact us at Metal Tech Controls Corp any time.
About Metal Tech Controls Corp.
Metal Tech Controls Corp. has been a professional, innovative, and trustworthy source since 1989 for press brake safety controls and systems, including the cutting-edge Laser Sentry system. Our products and services, just like our Florida-based business, are all proudly Made in America.