Press Brakes

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    What is a Press Brake?

    Though you might link a brake with the action of stopping, in the development of the metal working industry, the term was used to define an action of pounding or crushing to change the shape of the metal, much like a vehicle brake pad pushes against a rotor or drum to slow the speed of the vehicle.

    Factors Impacting Press Brake Performance

    A sheet metal press brake is a hydraulic press used to shape different types of metal, but especially mild steel. A press brake machine is used for sheet metal bending into a specific shape, with the type of effect created and materials that are used dependent on several factors. These include:

    • Open Height
    • Back Gauge
    • Ram Stroke Length
    • Throat Depth
    • Bend Length
    • Shut Height
    • Hydraulic System Ton Capacity
    • Stack Height
    • Ram Adjustment

    These features can impact whether you have issues with die bending, a high quality finished product, high speed production capability, heavy duty performance or similar factors that can impact the quality of your finished steel construction, Because of the flexibility of the brake press and its ability to be used for many different tasks in the metals shop, they are often available for sale at an affordable price as shops change out how many US tons they need to complete a project in terms of hydraulic system capacity.

    What About a CNC Press?

    With the move of many metal shops to further levels of automation, adding a brake press that has a CNC controller can be a popular option, though they may require a certain amount of technical support until you’re comfortable operating the press. These models often include a touch screen for fine control and can work well for CNC crowning situations.

    What Kind of Features Should I Look For in a Brake Press?

    Here is a quick look at some common features that you’ll want to consider in operating your brake press safely and effectively. A foot pedal allows the press to be operated without having to use the hands, a great feature if you’re dealing with smaller parts of items that must be kept in the press in a way that requires both hands to be used. For safety in the shop, a light curtain prevents the operator from placing their hands or other body parts into any part of the press that could cause them damage.

    Being able to purchase a high quality brake press for your shop, whether you’re looking at American style, an Amada press, a Hurco Autobend, an Accurpress ETS, or other types of presses, there’s no doubt that doing your due diligence will make a big difference in whether the press you purchase will be able to keep up with your production. This amount of high quality variety is part of what makes brake presses such a popular tool in the fabrication industry.