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Definitive Guide To Understanding Press Brakes as Tools For Metal Fabrication

According to projections, press brakes will cross a market share of over US$995.3 million by 2032. Between 2023 and 2032, their share will grow at a CAGR of 5.9%. As such, this rapid growth rate proves the value of press brakes. Let us take a deep dive into press brakes and everything there is to know about them.

Introduction to Press Brakes

press brake

There is a lot to learn about press brakes. Everything from the features, types, functions, and types is essential in giving you more insight into these machines.

Press brake definition

The most common tool used to bend metal sheets during the manufacturing of metallic components is known as press brakes. It is a tool equipped with features that facilitate efficient metal forming.

Uses of press brakes

Metals are easy to bend because they are considered ductile. Essentially, ductility is the ability of metals to stretch or bend without breaking. This feature is observed in many types of metals and it supports the use of press brakes to shape metals.

Intricate shapes are produced by press brakes during fabrication processes. It can form precise components with intricate shapes. Particularly, these precise shapes are mostly achieved with CNC press brakes. The various components of this machine are responsible for this forming.

Components of a press brake

The main structure of the press brake has an enclosure with a C-shape on the right and left sides. These enclosure frames act as the connector of the bottom workbench and the top crossbeam that forms the plunger section. Apart from the main structure, the press brake has other components where the pressing occurs. They include;

The ram
The ram is the main component that pushes the metal sheet into the die for shaping into the desired shape. Another crucial component known as the punch is attached to the ram. It provides the pressure used to bend the metal sheet by pushing it into the die.

The bed
During the pressing action, the bed supports the metal sheet and sustains the pressure generated by the punch. Therefore, the bed needs to be sturdy and rigid. It is usually made of strong materials like steel.

Hydraulic system
The pressure required to move the various parts of the press brake is generated by the hydraulic system. It consists of a pump and a fluid that work together to generate hydraulic forces.

Like every machine, the press brake has a control interface which consists mostly of a touchscreen display. From this control, you can adjust the parameters of the machine that are required when forming metal sheets.

The working mechanism of the press brake

press brake

The mechanism of action of press brakes is quite straightforward. Before the bending, the technician needs to plan the shapes and position the punch property. Additionally, the die will be chosen according to the desired shape. 

Following the preparatory steps, the ram forces the punch on the sheet. This is what facilitates the shaping of the sheet according to the shape of the die. In some cases, this clamping may be done multiple times to achieve the required results.

Press Brakes Types

There are three main types of press brakes. Primarily, these three categories are based on the mechanism of action. The three mechanisms of action give us electric (CNC), manual, and hydraulic press brakes.

Hydraulic press brake

These types of press brakes use power from hydraulic presses and pumps. This is the power that drives the punch. Hydraulic press brakes are further classified into down-acting and up-acting types.

CNC or electric press brake

press brake

CNC stands for Computerised Numerical Control.  It is a technology that is used in most industrial machines such as press brakes to make them autonomous. The term electric is used to imply that this machine uses electricity to power up.

Electric or CNC press brakes are controlled using preset controls when in action. This ensures that there is a higher degree of control of the outcome. To elaborate, the bents made are more precise and accurate. Explore the features of this CNC press brake.

Manual or mechanical press brake

As the name suggests, these press brakes are manually operated. Aspects like angles and dimensions need to be adjusted manually using knobs on the machine. This approach makes mechanical press brakes time-consuming and inefficient for large-scale productions.

Common Features of Press Brakes

Press brakes have several features that define their structure and functionality. Most of these features are based on the components of this machine. They include;

Heavy-duty components

Most of the components of the press brakes are engineered to handle high pressure from the punch. Therefore, they need to be sturdy and durable for long-term use. For instance, our sheet followers can handle a load of up to 180 kg.

Efficient motors

Most press brakes are made using in-house servo motors or motors from leading companies like Siemens and Inovance. These motors are optimized to reduce power consumption by up to 40%. They also have a noise-reduction mechanism that makes them run silently at a noise level of about 60 decibels.

Here are some features of our press brake servo motor, the Raymax Hybrid Plus;

  • Saves up to 60% electricity 
  • 30% higher efficiency rate
  • Accurate to 5 μm (micrometers) when positioning
  • 30% less oil consumption 
  • Lower failure rate

Assembled from popular brands

Most of the components used to assemble our press brakes are acquired from major brands across the world. For instance, the motors are usually from Siemens, the hydraulic from Bosch (Germany), the control interface from Delem, the electrical system from Schneider, and the foot pedal from Pizzato. All these are brands with high reputations regarding quality.


Forming metals using press brakes is among the most common industrial fabrication processes. We have explored how this works, along with other aspects such as features, types, and components of the press brake. If you are looking for more personalized help, contact us now to learn more about press brakes.

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