A press brake, also known as a brake press, is a machine tool for bending sheet and plate material, most commonly sheet metal. It forms predetermined bends by clamping the workpiece between a matching punch and die.
Bending process; typically, two C-frames form the sides of the press brake, connected to a table at the bottom and on a moveable beam at the top. The bottom tool is mounted on the table with the top tool mounted on the upper beam.
The brake consists of a flat surface onto which the material is placed, and a clamping bar which will come down and hold the material firmly during the bend. This clamping action may be manual, automatic or operated using a foot pedal. The front, gate-like, plate of the machine is hinged and may be lifted, forcing the material extended over a straight edge to bend to follow the plate.
The bends can be to any angle up to a practical limit of about 120 degrees, somewhat more in the case of a bar folder. If the area to be bent is narrow enough, a sharper bend (e.g., for a hem) can be made by inserting the bend under the clamping bar and lowering it.
Our press brake and metal forming service are one of the oldest methods of forming sheet metal and plates, it has stood the test of time due to its simplicity, accuracy, flexibility and low cost per piece. The machinery has of course moved on and most press brakes are now fully CNC, making them very accurate. This is critical for our customers, as many will order in batches and the consistency and quality offered today to give them the confidence to order those same parts tomorrow.
The simplicity of the sheet metal bending process means that the metals that can be formed are vast. The most common materials that we are requested to form are Stainless Steel, Aluminium, and Mild Steel. However, other stock metals are requested to be formed by our customers, such as our Copper, Titanium, and Brass to name a few are also not uncommon.
The flexibility and speed offered by our Press Brake Forming Service and the low cost per piece allow us to offer our customers the ability to form anything. We work with a wide range of complexity from single items, such as Angles (of almost any degree), Channels, and multi-form complicated brackets, all the way through to a consistent and repeatable medium to large run volumes.
What material thickness can be put on a Brake Press?
0.2mm to 12mm is the range of thickness but tonnage restricts the length of form the thicker the material.
Advantages of Press Brake Forming
- The CNC press brake is easy to program and operate
- The CNC press brake can be set very quickly from one job to the next.
- It is an ideal process for batch work.
- Very complicated forms and profiles are achievable using standard tooling.
- Replacement/additional tooling is readily available and not costly compared to power press tooling.
- Modern press brake tools are also becoming lighter and simpler to install to speed up manufacturing even more.
- Current machines are also able to produce more unique pieces because of the variety of software designs that can be run through the CNC system.
- 3D graphic representations of the metal bending process allow workers to visualize the process and reorder the machine’s sequence if necessary, without manually refitting all the tools, previously a highly skilled worker’s job.
Disadvantages of Press Brake Forming
- Can only produce one form at a time.
- Not as cost-effective on high volume, regular running work although modern press brakes create better bends much faster with current technology.
While there are certainly issues with this particular metal process, it’s clear that the advantages of using press brakes certainly outweigh the cons with the right product. That’s why press brakes are a staple of the manufacturing industry today. So, are you fully convinced that press brake work is for you? Get in touch today to speak to our friendly staff to find out why QuTec should be your go-to for all your press brake manufacturing. Call us on +44(0) 1386 555 088 or alternatively email us at email@example.com