What is a Press Brake?

Press Brake Machine

If you’re considering optimizing your metalworking operations with a press brake, then you’ve probably come across tons of information about the newest machines for bending operations, types of press brakes, advantages, and so much more. 

All that info is vital when making a decision about the best press brake model for your business, but it’s harder to find straightforward answers to your initial questions about what a press brake is and what it does. 

That’s why we compiled this introductory blog to answer the question, “What is a brake press?” and help you understand press brakes, how they work, what they do, and all the other basic information to help you determine if a press brake is a good option for your business. 

What is a Press Brake?

A press brake is a machine used to bend sheet metal. By clamping pieces of sheet metal between a movable punch and stationary die, the machine swiftly and accurately bends the metal, thereby boosting the efficiency of operations for a variety of industries. 

Depending on the type of press brake machine, you will manually or digitally set bend angles and diameters for the bend your business needs. Then, you can bend a piece of metal multiple times to create specific, unique, and precise bends without breaking metal.

A wide variety fo industry leaders make high-quality press brakes and press brake parts with different features including Accurl,  LVD Press Brake, AMADA, Autopmec Press Brake Backguage, Rolla-V Dies, Trumpf, and many more. 

Why are Press Brakes Called Press Brakes?

You might be wondering how a pressbrake earned that name over sheet metal bending machine or something else more descriptive. Well, people define brake as a tool for crushing and pounding. 

In fact, that definition has been used since the 14th century and is the basis for a pressing brake machine. The “Press” part of the name refers to the pressure and pressing action of the machines. 

How Does Press Brake Operation Work?

Regardless of the type of press brake, it will be much easier and more efficient than bending sheet metal without a brake. That being said, the process will depend primarily on how the press brake is powered. 

A manual hydraulic press brake uses a combination of hydraulics and, generally, electric power to perform the process. The settings for the bend will be changed manually by the operator, making for a slower bending process, but the machines in general are more affordable. 

A hydraulic CNC press brake is similar but has a Computer Numerically Controlled system added to it. This means they are easier to operate while also adding the ability for multi-step and automated programming. That means multiple bends in a single process while also improving precision and efficiency. 

For example, the H-Brake Hybrid Press Brake Euro Master by Accurl combined hydraulics with DELEM CNC controller to maximize simplicity with a bending force range of 80 to 400 tons. Not only that, but it saves energy and oil, speeds up cycle time, and makes less noise. That’s the benefit of a well-made, high-quality hydraulic CNC press brake. 

However, there’s another category as well, which is the fully electric servo press brake. These machines, like the Accurl eB Ultra, can be highly efficient both in speed and energy savings.  

Plus, this specific Accurl machine is incredibly accurate due to the Servo electrically driven upper beam, and absence of hydraulic oil, and the thermal influence that comes with it. Plus, it offers 80% lower energy consumption than hydraulic alternatives and 70% less noise than other machines. 

That being said, the choice for the type of power you need for your press brakes will depend on many factors including the type of metal you’re working with, how much volume you need to bend, the complexity of the bends, your budget, and more. 

Additionally, you can add press brake attachment parts for specific brake forming, safety, and precision features. Regardless, make sure you and your operator know how to use an aluminum brake or other type of brake that you get properly to maximize output, safety, and efficiency. 

Common Press Brake Forming Applications

Understanding which industries commonly use bend press brakes is an essential aspect of what they are. Also, it can help you determine if you should continue to bend sheet metal without brake press machines or if you need a sheet metal press brake to keep up with competitors and scale your business.

These are some of the common press brake applications and industries:

  • Automotive industry for panels and parts
  • Aerospace industry for airframes and other parts requiring precision
  • Consumer goods including furniture and metal artwork
  • Construction including housing materials and hardware
  • Metal containers for various industries 
  • Much more

Final Thoughts on What is a Pressing Brake

Instead of wondering how to bend sheet metal without a brake efficiently for your business, consider getting a high-quality press brake to boost press brake safety, productivity, precision, and more. 

If you’d like to compare prices, click here to get a free quote from Accurl on a premium machine built for your needs! Our reliable, energy-efficient, and cutting-edge machines are designed to give you a return on investment with unmatched precision. 


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