Press Brake: The Ultimate Guide (2018 Updated)


Press Brake Definition

What is press brake? What does a hydraulic press brake do?

A lot of people keep asking questions like this.

I just collect that official definition here for you to under what is press brake. I also put my own understanding here.

Here we go.

Press Brake Bending Animation

The press brake is a machine for sheet metal fabrication, to realize the sheet metal bending function by bending mold.

Wikipedia also gives its definition:

“A press brake 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.”

The press brake (bending machine) is a sheet metal processing machine.

The bending function of the metal plate is realized by bending mold (punch and dies).

It can be divided into the manual press brake, hydraulic press brake and CNC press brake.

By way of synchronization, hydraulic press brake can be divided into twist axis synchronization, mechanical hydraulic synchronization, and electro-hydraulic synchronization.

By way of motion method, the hydraulic press brake can be divided into upward moving and downward moving press brake, which includes brackets, workbenches and clamping plates.

The working table is placed on the front support and consists of a base and a pressure plate while the base is connected to the clamping plate through hinges and consists of the housing, coil, and cover.

The coil is placed in the recess of the housing, and the top of the depression is covered with a cover plate.

Besides, for the “Bending” in the metalworking industry, wiki says:

Bending is a manufacturing process that produces a V-shape, U-shape, or channel shape along a straight axis in ductile materials, most commonly sheet metal. Commonly used equipment include box and pan brakes, brake presses, and other specialized machine presses. Typical products that are made like this are boxes such as electrical enclosures and rectangular ductwork.

Here we will discuss everything about press brakes or brake presses.

Let’s dive into it.

Press Brake Types

Press brake is divided into below several types:

Manual Press Brake

Manual Press Brake

It is the most common one among press brakes.

Manual press brakes are required to manually adjust the bending dimensions and angles when used. Manual press brake also contains worktable, supporters, and the clamping plate. The worktable is also mounted on the supporters, which consists of a base and a pressure plate.

Manual press brakes are much more complex in operation than other types of press brakes, therefore, to make mass production after confirming bending size and bending angles. When finished one batch of mass production, adjusting bending size and bending angles for continued production.

Hydraulic Press Brake

Hydraulic Press Brake

Classified by synchronization, the hydraulic press brake can be divided into Torsion Synchronization Press Brake, Hybrid Press Brake, and Electric Hydraulic Synchronization Press Brake.

Classified by movement, the hydraulic press brake can be divided into: Up Moving Press Brake, Down Moving Press Brake.

Hydraulic press brake contains supporters, worktable and clamping plate. The worktable is placed on the supporters, consist of base and pressure plate. The base is connected with the clamping plate by means of a hinge and it is composed of shell, coil and cover plate. The coil is placed in the recess of the shell while the top of the recess is covered with a cover.

CNC Press Brake

CNC Press Brake

Electro-hydraulic servo press brake, which is a kind of sheet metal processing equipment with high precision and efficiency, consists of machine frame, ram (slider), workbench, oil cylinder, hydraumatic proportional servo system, position detection system, CNC controller and electrical control system.

CNC press brake is one kind of press brakes to realize bending function by controlling slider stroke and back gauge.

When using CNC press brake, you only need to input the pieces number of the workpiece which required for bending as well as bending angle for each step, the CNC press brake will finish bending according to the steps you just set in the controller.

Advanced CNC press brake mainly adopts hydro-electric servo system and grating ruler to form closed-loop control. It features high control accuracy, as well as bending accuracy and repositioning accuracy.

The operation of CNC press brake can be flexible, both overlength plates bending with Tandem Press Brake and short workpiece fabrication with normal press brake can be realized, which not only improve press brake utilization ratio but also reduce energy consumption.

Advantages and Performance Features of CNC Press Brakes

With the progress of science and technology, press brakes introduced electro-hydraulic servo synchronization technology to complete upgrade. It mainly has following advantages:

  • CNC bending machine using electro-hydraulic servo system to control the two-cylinder synchronization. With the international standard grating ruler realize the full closed-loop control. It featured high precision synchronization, high bending accuracy, high repeat positioning accuracy.
  • Equipped with hydraulic automatically clamp or fast clamp for the upper die, and socket lower die based on customer’s requirement to reduce the labor intensity and improve production efficiency.
  • The back gauge of CNC press brakes can be extended to six axes. The crowning is automatically adjusted by the CNC system, convenient and accurate.
  • Equipped with Germany Bosch – Rexroth valve block, linear motion guide and ball screw manufactured by BLIS, Taiwan HIWIN or other international companies to ensure that the positioning accuracy of the press brake machine.
  • With separated upper die with different lengths, can be assembled into a certain width according to the requirements of the workpiece to meet the special needs of the fabrication.
  • Automatic cylinder crowning system overcomes the impact on the workpiece quality caused by slider deformation, ensure the good straightness and bending angle of the final products.


See also:


Working Principle of Press Brake

Fix the top punch and bottom die on the upper and lower worktable, utilize the relative motion of the worktable driven by hydraulic transmission as well as the shape of punch and die, to achieve the bending formation for sheet metal materials.

bending process

Wikipedia says:

” A press brake 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.

Typically, two C-frames form the sides of the press brake, connected to a table at the bottom and on a movable beam at the top. The bottom tool is mounted on the table with the top tool mounted on the upper beam.”


Press Brake Composition

Press Brake Structure Drawing

Generally, the press brake machine including four main parts: mechanical parts, electrical parts, hydraulic part, and NC controller. The details are as follows:

Press Brake Frame

Press Brake Frame

The frame of press brake is welded by the left and right upright plate, worktable, supporting bodies and fuel tanks. The worktable is under the left and right uprights. The fuel tank is welded with the uprights, which can improve the rigidity and strength of the frame, as well as increase the heat dissipation area of the hydraulic oil, it is advantageous to the normal operation of the hydraulic system.

Features of Press Brake Structure:

  1. Adopt fully welded structure, with sufficient strength and rigidity;
  2. Up transmission of hydraulic oil, the cylinders on both ends of press brake are installed on the slider, directly drive the sliding work;
  3. Slider adopt torsion to force synchronization;
  4. Adopt mechanical stopper, stable and reliable;
  5. Slider stroke is adjusted by the controller, fine adjustment manually, counter display;
  6. Wedge-shaped crowning, to ensure a higher bending accuracy.


The ram is made from the whole steel plate, and is connected with the piston rod in the center of the left and right oil cylinder, the cylinder is fixed on the connecting plate of the left and right wall plate, and the piston rod is driven by hydraulic drive to move the slider up and down.

In order to ensure the accurate positioning of the ram in the upper dead point, a grating ruler is arranged on both sides of the ram to transfer the position information back to NC controller, and the position is adjusted by the controller. At the same time to ensure the synchronous operation of the ram.

Adopt hydraulic transmission, slider part consists of the slider, oil cylinder and mechanical stopper for fine adjustment. The left and right cylinders are fixed on the frame, and the piston (rod) is driven by the hydraulic pressure to move the slider up and down. The mechanical stopper is controlled by the numerical control system.


Controller by button box, the forward and backward movement of the back stopper is driven by the motor, and the moving distance of back stopper is controlled by CNC controller, with minimum reading 0.01mm (there is stroke limit switch both at the front and back position)

Synchronization System

The mechanical synchronization mechanism, which consists of torsion, swing arm, joint bearings etc, has simple structure, stable and reliable performance, as well as high precision synchronization.

The position of the mechanical press brake stops is adjusted by the motor, while the data is controlled by CNC controller.

Press Brake Back Gauge

The backgauge of the CNC press brake adopt motor driving transmission, to realize synchronous movement of two ball screw timing belt. The backgauge distance is controlled by CNC controller.

Press Brake Axis

Press Brake Back Gauge


Press Brake Back Gauge-MachineMfg

Press Brake Axis Diagram

Press Brake coordinates

X, Y, Z directions of press brake is as follows, the arrow in the figure is positive.

Press Brake coordinates

Press brake axis can be classified as follows:

Y1, Y2-axis: control the upward and downward movement of the ram

V-axis: control press brake crowning

X1, X2, R, Z1, Z2-axis: all is backgauge control axis to control backgauge positioning

Press Brake Axis Diagram

Press Brake Exploded View

Press Brake Exploded View

Press Brake Work Support Arms

The front supporter arms of press brake are fixed on the T-groove or linear guide in front of the machine and is designed with a manually adjusted back position claw.

Press Brake Work Support Arms

Press Brake Foot Pedal Switch

Press Brake Foot Pedal Switch

Press Brake Clamps

Press Brake clamps including normal standard clamps and quick clamping tools for quick change.

Clearly, quick clamping tools will make it much easier for change punch die, not only convenient but also time-saving.

Press Brake Clamps

Press Brake Kits and Accessories (Parts)

1User Manual1 Copy
2Foundation Screw4 Pieces
3Washer4 Pieces
4Oil Gun1 Set
5Front Supporter2 Pieces
6Pedal Switch1 Set

Press Brake Guarding


Press Brake Safety Guards

Press Brake Safety Guards


Press Brake Light Curtains

Press Brake Light Curtains


Press Brake Laser Guard

Press Brake Laser Guard

Press Brake Hydraulic System

The motor, oil pump, valve etc are installed in the fuel tank, in order to ensure that the oil tank is filled with oil when the ram is rapidly falling, the structure of filling valve is adopted. To improve the travel speed of the ram, and save energy.

See also:

Press Brake Valve

Hydraulic Oil Cylinder

Hydraulic Cylinder

Hydraulic Oil Cylinder

Press Brake Seal Ring

Press Brake Seal Ring

Press Brake Weight

The weight of press brake ranges from 5T to 300T, this is much depending on the size of the machine. For example, for 80T*2000mm press brake, the weight is around 6T, however, the weight for 2000Tx12000mm press brake is over 300T.

Press Brake Weight

Press Brake Crowing

The press brake is pressurized by two working cylinders at both ends of the sliding block. The deformation force of the bending workpiece is in the middle, so the sliding block and the worktable are deformed together with the upper and lower die, which causes the sheet material to be uneven along the length of the die edge, which directly affects the accuracy and straightness of the bending workpiece.

Therefore, it is necessary to take corresponding measures to reduce or eliminate the deflection caused by the deformation.

The so-called deflection compensation device has preset a deformation in the direction of the opposite force-deformation in the sliding block and the upper die or the worktable and the lower die working table, and the deformation has the same amount of deformation generated in the actual work. Therefore, to realize the compensation of the relative deformation of the slider to the worktable, the pressure distribution between the dies is more uniform and the bending quality of the sheet material is improved.

At present, the press brake crowning mainly has three kinds – geometric crowning, hydraulic crowning, and mechanical crowning.

  • Geometric crowning

Generally, not adopt this type of crowning method.

Working table fixed convex, that is, at the time of manufacture, the worktable was machined into arc shape with a slightly convex in the middle to compensate for the deflection caused by bending.

To make the appropriate correction for the upper mold, so that the middle part of the mold slightly curved, so that when the slider occurs upward deflection deformation, the upper die edge basically tends to be straight, so that it keeps each bending point along the bend line generate the same bending force for the plate.

The advantages of the geometrical compensation method are low cost and easy to manufacture, but there are some disadvantages which can only realize the compensation of fixed deformation and small compensation flexibility.

In addition, the compensation block arc correction quantity needs to pass through the precise calculation. The calculation method which based on the mechanics’ theory and the finite element calculation all has the certain error, therefore, even this kind of crowning method can achieve the deflection compensation effect, but it is very difficult to realize.


  • Hydraulic Crowning

Hydraulic Crowning

Mainly used on the electro-hydraulic synchronous CNC press brake, because the amount of compensation needs to be controlled from the CNC system, such as DA56 DA66, etc.

On the press brake frame, in addition, to installing two hydraulic cylinders at two sides, install another two-auxiliary hydraulic cylinder in the middle of the machine. When stroke down, the auxiliary cylinder filled with liquid oil and go downward. During bending process, hydraulic oil inlet into the auxiliary cylinder, so that the slider generate downward deflection for compensation.

Install the auxiliary hydraulic cylinder in the lower part of the worktable. During bending process, it generates an upward force on the worktable, which forms the automatic crowning system.

The pressure compensation device is composed of several small oil cylinders, comprising an oil cylinder, a motherboard, an auxiliary plate and a pin shaft, and a compensating cylinder is placed on the worktable, and a pressure compensation system is formed with a proportional relief valve.

When working, the auxiliary plate supports the oil cylinder, the oil cylinder holds up the motherboard up, just overcomes the deformation of the slider and the worktable. The convex device is controlled by a numerical control system, so that the preload can be determined according to the thickness of the plate, the opening of the die and the tensile strength of the material when bending different sheet materials.

The advantage of hydraulic crowning is that it can realize the deflection compensation for continuous variable deformation with large compensation flexibility, but there are some disadvantages of complex structure and relatively high cost.


  • Mechanical Crowning

Mechanical Crowning

Press Brake Crowning Diagram

Most widely used crowning method for the ordinary press brake, with good compensation effect and low cost. In real operation, it is very convenient and easy for operators.

Mechanical crowning is a kind of new deflection compensation method, which is generally use triangular oblique wedge structure.

The principle is that the two-triangle wedge block with α angles, the upper wedge moving is fixed at x-direction, can only move in Y-direction. When the wedge moves the △x distance along the X-direction, the upper wedge moves up the H distance under the lower wedge force, which is the principle of the mechanical crowning.

Regarding existing mechanical compensation structure, two bolster plates are placed in full length on the worktable, the upper and lower plates are connected through the disc spring and bolts. The upper and lower plates are consist of a number of oblique wedges with different slopes, through the motor drive to make them relatively moving, forming an ideal curve for a set of convex position.

Press Brake Mechanical Crowning

See also:


Press Brake Stroke

A lot of press brake operators get very confused when they’re setting the stroke data (or the Y-axis data) in the press brake controller, especially for the old type press brake. They don’t what exactly press brake stroke they should set, so the only way to solve the problem is testing again and again.

Definitely, this is not the right way.

Today I gonna show you how to calculate press brake stroke length with exact formula.

Firstly, please see below schematic diagram. I will take the data on it as an example.

How to Calculate Press Brake Stroke Length

And the formula to calculate press brake stroke is:

Stroke = Daylight – Middle Plate Height – Punch Height – Die Base Height – (Die Height – 0.5V + t)

For example: 

Daylight: 370mm

Max Stroke: 100mm

Stroke = 370-120-70-75-(26-0.5*8+t) = (83-t) mm


Attention should be paid when choosing the die height:

0.5V< Stroke <Max Stroke

Easy? Try it out now.


Press Brake Application

Press brakes are widely used in energy, transportation, automobile, machinery, metallurgy, shipbuilding, aviation, military, agricultural machinery, petroleum machinery, power generation industries.

Press Brake Application


Press Brake Toolings

Press Brake Toolings Drawing_MachineMfg

Press brake standard toolings including punch and die, for the stamping and separation of sheet metal. The die for forming has a cavity, while for separation it has blade edge.

You can check the ultimate guide for press brake toolings first.

Press Brake Toolings

Commonly Used Press Brake Toolings

In order to extend the service life of mold, the press brake punch and dies are designed with rounded corners as far as possible. Commonly used press brake toolings are as follows.

Press Brake V U Z Bend

Generally, the height of flanged edge L≥3t (t=plate thickness). If the height of flanged edge is too small, even use bending mold is not conducive to forming.

See also:

Press Brake Toolings Materials

Generally, the materials of press brake toolings including T8 steel, T10 steel, 42CrMo, and Cr12MoV.

Cr12MoV is also a good material. The using performance can be satisfied, the process performance is also good, but the price will be high.

42CrMo is a high strength alloy quenched and tempered steel with high strength and strong toughness. It can work under the temperature of -500℃.

It mainly requires high strength, high toughness, and good wear resistance.

See also:

How to Choose Press Brake Toolings


Press Brake Toolings Pictures

Press Brake Toolings

Press Brake Toolings Drawings

Press Brake Toolings Drawings

>> Click here to view all press brake toolings drawings

Press Brake Punch Point Radius (R) and Punch Angles

Commonly used punch radius including:

(1)0.2R (2)0.6R (3)0.8R (4)1.5R (5)3.0R

Punch Angles:

Generally, for plate below 3mm with R0.6 standard punch, the point angles have:


The dihedral angle of punch should less than fabrication angle. For example, if we bending workpiece with 90°, the punch with 88° point angle should be chosen.

Press Brake Dies Shape

Generally, press brake dies have single-V shape and double-V shape, among these two shapes, it also has separation die and full-length die. Different dies are suitable for different fabrication purpose.

In short, the single-V die has much wider application than double-V die, while separation die has wider application than full-length die.

Die V Width and V Dihedral Angle

V Width:

The relationship between V width and plate thickness (T):


Bending Resilience:

Bending Resilience

Spring-back angle Δα=b-a

In the formula:

b—The actual angle of the workpiece after spring-back

a—Die angle

Spring-back Angle for single 90 o free bending

Steelr/tPlate Thickness t (mm)
Mild Steel<1
Aluminum, Zinc>5
Medium carbon steel     σb=400-500MPa<1
Hard brass              σb=350-400MPa1-5
Hard bronze             σb=350-400MPa>5
High carbon steel         σb>550MPa<1

The factors that affect the resilience and the measures to reduce the spring back:

bending resilience

  • Mechanical properties of the material

The spring back angle is proportional to the yield point of the material and is inversely proportional to the elastic modulus E. In order to reduce the spring back for those sheet metal which requires high precision, the low carbon steel should be the first consideration, do not choose high carbon steel and stainless steel.

  • The larger the relative bending radius r / t, the smaller the degree of deformation, the greater the rebound angle Δα.

This is one very important concept. In the case of material properties permitting, the small bend radius should be chosen to improve accuracy. In particular, attention should be made to avoid designing large arcs as much as possible, as shown in the following figure. Such large arcs have a greater impact on production and quality control:

Too Big Bending Radius

Press Brake Dies Cabinet

Press Brake Dies Cabinet

How to Choose Press Brake Die

You can check out the previously written blog post about How to Choose Press Brake Die.


Press Brake Gauge

The commonly used press brake gauge including angle gauge, angle ruler and venier.

Press Brake Gauge


TOP Press Brake Manufacturer List

In order to help those who want to find the best press brake manufacturers, we make the following list of TOP 10 Press Brake Manufacturers. Please note it’s listed alphabetically rather than by rank, as well as some background information about what makes them better than most.


ADIRA is one of the world leaders within the sector, operating in approximately 60 markets worldwide, known for its know-how and capability to produce highly complex and customized solutions according to each client’s specific needs. ADIRA is committed to continuous innovation and improvement of its products, which stand out for their high quality made in Portugal.


ALIKO has been manufacturing CNC controlled sheet metal machinery for mechanical engineering industry for 40 years. The company has over 1300 machine deliveries, to Finland and other countries all over the world.


The factory of Artizono has over 20 years manufacturing experience in sheet metalworking machinery in China. They will offer their customer machines not only in high quality but also with low cost. Most importantly, they always have a strong team behind them in order to provide good and in-time after sale support.


From our modern 500,000-square-foot plant and technical center on an 80 acre campus near Cincinnati, Ohio, we engineer and build our Laser Cutting Systems, Automation, Press Brakes, Shears, Powder Metal Presses, and Additive Manufacturing, to the standard of ruggedness required in the North American market.


A market leader in CNC bending / forming technology, LVD offers one of the most extensive press brake lines – from economical manual and CNC press brakes, multi-axis machines featuring LVD’s unique adaptive forming system and touchscreen control, to turnkey custom designs. All are engineered to simplify programming, eliminate trial bending, and provide accurate, repeatable results.


Prima Power is the Machinery Division of Prima Industrie Group, listed on Milan’s Stock Exchange. In 2017 the Group celebrated 40 years of activity in sheet metal working machinery field.


Flexible automation and process efficiency are the cornerstones upon which Salvagnini has developed its range of products: intelligent, autonomous and independent solutions that are easy to program and use, are automated and interconnected, talk and communicate intrinsically and bidirectionally with each other and with the surrounding environment, creating a more linear and advantageous process for the efficient and effective production of a wide variety of pieces in sequence.


TruBend machines incorporate a wealth of experience in press brake technology coupled with pioneering innovations. Enabling you to fabricate parts in any format, from the simplest to the most complex, precisely and cost-effective. TruBend machines are above all renowned for their flexibility, finished part quality, and a high cost-benefit ratio.


Ursviken supply the Power and Productivity to heavy plate metal working as well as efficiency, accuracy, flexibility and high quality in lighter materials. All machines are designed to meet even the most demanding customer needs.


Yawei has been one of the few professional enterprises that can offer total solutions of middle and high-end sheet metal and coil line machine-tools. After 60 years of development, Yawei has now become the leading company in the Chinese sheet metal forming industry.

Among the manufacturer in the above list, many of them are also world best CNC hydraulic press brake producer. Among them, you will also find best and largest press brake equipment manufacturers in China.

A lot of people want to know the world’s best press brake manufacturers, or top 10 press brake manufacturers, however, very few of them will choose these best press brake in the world.

There is only one reason: expensive.

Their price is expensive, not means the machine is good. Just because their labor cost is high, steel price is high, the component price is high, which finally makes the press brake high.

If you don’t have enough budget, or if you want to find the most cost-effective press brake, I personally suggest you put your eyes in China’s press brake manufacturer.

The reason is simple:

China is rank top 1st for steel manufacturing, 1st for machine tools consumption, 1st for machine tools manufacturing…

I can use 10000 words here to explain the reason why you can choose press brake manufacturer from China, but there is no need. Because here I want to explain other things to make you fully understand press brakes.

Continue your reading.


Press Brake Safety

Correct way to hold workpieces

Correct way to hold workpieces for press brake operation

Correct operation of press brake


Open the power switch → Hold up the pedal switch to start pump → Turn on the boot key → L-axis reset → D-axis reset → Commissioning

See also:

Install Punch & Die

First installed on punch, then die, loosen the two screws under the guide rail to do the alignment. Raise the height of the punch at first, then slowly step on the pedal, to check whether the mold is concentric, always check the pressure gauge to not exceed the pressure range.

See also:

Pickup & placement of the workpiece

Do not reach the hands between the folded workpiece and die, so as not to pinch the finger, when aligning the mold, the hand and any part of the body are not allowed to be placed between the upper and lower mold. When bending large pieces, the rebound of the workpiece may hurt the operator’s face, so please pay more attention to this. If the press brake is operated by two more people, one of the operators should control the pedal switch well enough.

See also:

25 Safety rules for CNC press brakes

Press Brake Structure

  • Strictly abide by the safety regulations of machine tool workers, and wear labor protective supplies according to stipulations.
  • Before starting the press brake, to carefully check whether the motor, switch, wire, and grounding is normal and firm, check the whether the control parts of equipment and buttons are in the correct position.
  • Check the degree of coincidence and robustness of the upper and lower dies, and check whether the positioning devices meet the requirements of the fabrication.
  • Reset the program when the upper slide plate and the position axes are not in the Origin state.
  • If discovers the abnormal sound or breakdown 1-2 minutes after the equipment starts the empty running, and the upper slide plate finished 2-3 times movement, immediately stop the press brake. Start the press brake operation only after everything is confirmed normal.
  • During the operation of the press brake, it should be unified command by 1 people, so that the close cooperation between operators and feed suppression personnel to ensure that send out bending signal after all personnel in a safe position.
  • According to the bending sheet thickness, shape size, adjust the slider stroke and adjust the selection of upper and lower die and bending force. Select the V-width of the lower die and check the bending force of the workpiece, must refer to the press brake bending force chart at the right side of the machine, work bending force should not greater than the nominal force.
  • When adjusting the clearance of upper and lower mold, the slider must be parked on the dead point. Clearance must be adjusted from large to small. The initial adjustment of the clearance of up and down mold generally can be 1 mm larger than the thickness of the plate, the gap must be greater than the thickness of the plate, in order to avoid damage the mold due to no clearance.
  • When bending over two people, you must designate one person to step on the brakes and cut off the power when you leave the machine.
  • Do not make unilateral and single point load work.
  • The sheet bending must be compacted to prevent wounding caused by the warping of the sheet during bending.
  • Do not stack sundries and gauges between the top and bottom molds.
  • The power supply must be cut off and the press brake stopped working when adjusting the mold.
  • The correct choice of bending mold, the fastening position of upper and lower die to be correct, to prevent trauma when installing the top and bottom die.
  • When changing the opening of a variable die, no material is allowed to contact the lower die.
  • Correct selection of bending pressure, the eccentric load should be 1/2 less than the maximum pressure.
  • Bending workpiece length must not be 1/3 less than the worktable length while under the maximum bending pressure.
  • Do not allow the stand of the person at the back of the press brake during its operation.
  • It is strictly prohibited to press the sheet material at one end alone.
  • When the workpiece or mold is found not straight during operation, the press brake should be stopped and corrected. It is strictly forbidden to use hand correction in operation to prevent injury.
  • It is forbidden to fold the ultra-thick iron sheet or quenched steel plate, advanced alloy steel, square steel and the sheet material which exceeds the performance of the press brake in order to prevent damage of the press brake.
  • Check the coincidence degree of the upper and lower molds regularly; Check the indication of the pressure gauge for compliance.
  • If abnormal thing happened, stop the press brake immediately, check the reasons and notify the relevant personnel to troubleshoot promptly.
  • Before shutting down, place the wood block on the lower die under the cylinder at both ends and drop the top slide onto the wood.
  • After completion, exit control system procedures first, after cutting off the power, cleaning the work site.


Press Brake Training

The best training provides you the manuals, you can learn wherever you are, and anytime you want. Here I collect some of the most popular manuals for your reference:

Press Brake Estun E21 Operation Manual

Press Brake Estun E200P Operation Manual

Press Brake Estun E300 Operation Manual

Press Brake Delem DA41 Operation Manual

Press Brake Delem DA52s Operation Manual

Press Brake Delem DA-66T Operation Manual


Press Brake Accidents and Repair

If you press brake operators, you should read below 17 press brake common failure analysis carefully, probably it will help you solve big problems.



Press Brake Maintenance Checklist

Before the press brake maintenance or cleaning of the machine should align the top punch with the bottom die before drop it, then shut down the press brake until the completion of the work. If required to start the machine or other operations, select the jog mode, and ensure safety.

The maintenance content is as follows:

Hydraulic oil circuit

  1. Weekly inspection of the oil levels in oil tanks, it should also be checked for hydraulic system maintenance. If oil level below the oil window, the oil tank should be filled with hydraulic oil;
  2. The hydraulic oil used in press brake is ISO HM46 or Mobil DTE25;
  3. The new press brake should change oil after 2000 hours running, after that change oil for every 4,000-6,000 hours operation. Clean the fuel tank for every oil changing;
  4. System oil temperature should be between 35℃~60℃, no more than 70 ℃, the too high temperature will lead to deterioration of oily and accessory damage.


  1. Each time during the oil change, the filter should be replaced or thoroughly cleaned;
  2. If the press brake has the related alarm or the oil is not clean, or some other unusual things for the filter, the filter should be replaced;
  3. Clean the air filter on the tank every 3 months, preferably change it every year.

Hydraulic Parts

  1. Monthly cleaning of hydraulic components (substrates, valves, motors, pumps, tubing, etc.), to prevent dirt from entering the system, can not use detergent;
  2. One month after the use of the new press brake machine, check whether the bending point of the tubing has deformation, if yes then it should be replaced. After the use of two months, should be fastened to all parts of the connection, the press brake should be shut down to ensure that there was no pressure of the system when doing this work.


Press Brake Inspection Checklist Form

Brief Description

  1. Standard test order does not mean the actual test order, it is changeable
  2. Adjusting the mechanism and parts which may affect the precision is prohibited during the test process.
  3. Workpiece precision inspection conditions:
  4. Requirements on workpiece
  5. If the workpiece is made by A3 steel plate, it’s tensile strength Qb≤ 450MPa
  • The number of workpieces shall not less than 3 pieces
  • The opening size of lower die shall be 8-10 times as large as workpiece thickness
  • Workpiece should be put on the worktable middle position
  • Bending angle is 90°
  • Measure from end 100mm

The inspection method and accuracy range shall be based on GBT-14349-2011-Metal Press Brake- Precision

Press Brake Inspection Checklist Form

Note: the worktable is floated, inspection G2,G3 shall refer worktable vertical plate as a benchmark.

Press Brake Inspection Checklist Form


Press Brake Bending Radius

  • Bending Radius

There should have bending radius for sheet metal bending, bending radius should not be too large or too small, it should be chosen appropriately. If the bending radius is too small, it will cause cracking at the bend position; if the bending radius is too large, it is easy to rebound.

The optimum bending radius of different thickness of various materials (bend inner RADIUS) see table below:

MetalAnnealing ConditionCold Hardening State
The corresponding position of bending direction and fiber direction
08, 100.1t0.4t0.4t0.8t
15, 200.1t0.5t0.5t1.0t
25, 300.2t0.6t0.6t1.2t
45, 500.5t1.0t1.0t1.7t
Soft Brass0.1t0.35t0.35t0.8t
Semi-rigid Brass0.1t0.35t0.5t1.2t
Phosphor bronze//1.0t3.0t

The data in the table above is the preferred data for reference only. In fact, the rounded corners of press brake are usually 0.3, and a small number of the rounded corners of the press brake punch is 0.5.

For ordinary low carbon steel plate, anti-rust aluminum plate, yellow copper, purple copper, etc., the inner radius 0.2 is no problem, but for some high carbon steel, hard aluminum, super-hard aluminum, the use 0.2 radius will lead to bending fracture or the outer radius crack.


Press Brake Tonnage Calculation Formula and Calculator


Click above link you will get the answers.


DIY Press Brake

Sometimes, the workshop owners need to bend steel, just for several pieces of steel, so buy a completely new press brake is not the best way. That’s why they want to build a press brake on their own, just to diy some simple press brake for bending purpose.

Therefore, the homemade metal brake press is what they want.

Here I collect some videos for home build press brake, hope you can make one with the tutorials been provided.

Press Brake Wiring Diagram

Different manufacturers will design different press brake wiring diagram. When you purchase it, the suppliers will send you the wiring diagram together with the hydraulic diagram as well as the installation and operation manuals. If you did not see it when you receive the machine, please contact your supplier immediately.

Below press brake wiring diagram is from us, just for your reference.

Press Brake Wiring Diagram


Press Brake Control System

There are two popular press brake controllers, one is from China’s Estun, which is the sole agent of DELEM control in China, the other one is DELEM from Holland.

See also:

The key factor for press brake including two parts, one is the machine itself, such as the quality, accuracy, etc, the other one is the control system.

The installation manual and operation manual of press brake controllers in PDF form can be downloaded from below link.

Operation Manual:

Press Brake Estun E21 Operation Manual

Press Brake Estun E200P Operation Manual

Press Brake Estun E300 Operation Manual

Press Brake Delem DA41 Operation Manual

Press Brake Delem DA52s Operation Manual

Press Brake Delem DA-66T Operation Manual

Installation Manual:

Press Brake Estun E21 Installation Manual

Press Brake Estun E200P Installation Manual

Press Brake Estun E300 Installation Manual


Press Brake Programing and Setup

The above operation manual and installation manual of press brake controllers have explained the programming and setup very clear, please download it from the last topic and read it carefully.


Press Brake User Manual

How to use the press brake

According to fabricate Q235 mild steel with hydraulic press brake to do a simple introduction:

  1. First, connect the power, turn on the key switch on the control panel, and then press the pump to start, then you can hear the oil pump rotating sound. (The machine does not run at current time)
  2. Stroke adjustment. You must pay attention to stroke adjustment for press brake operation, it must be tested before bending. Must ensure that there is clearance which equals to the thickness of the plate when the top punch down to the bottom of the lower die. Otherwise, the mold and press brake will be damaged. The adjustment of the stroke also has the electric quick adjustment and the manual fine adjusts.
  3. Regarding V-width choosing, generally, the width of V opening should be 8 times the thickness of the plate. For example, for bending 4mm plate, you should choose 32mm V-opening die.
  4. Back gauge adjustment generally has electric fast adjustment and manual fine-adjustment.
  5. Step down the pedal switch to start bending, you can loosen at any time. If loosen the foot, the bending machine will stop, step again to continue bending.

Here we provide press brake operation manuals to guide you operating press brake. Download the press brake operating instructions here.

See also:


Press Brake Forming Process Technology

Press Brake Hydraulic System

Press Brake Hydraulic System

Clean the Hydraulic Oil

The hydraulic system has a high requirement for the cleanliness of hydraulic oil. The clean of the oil tank is very important.

When replacing the hydraulic oil, you must discharge the cover of the oil tank. Use the towel to clean the bottom of the tank (do not use cotton yarn), then wash with cleaning coal oil gasoline. For limitation of tank cover, the arm cannot reach the end of the tank; you can wrap the towel on the bamboo or stick to wipe each corner. Loosen the leaking plug or brake valve to leak out the dirty oil.

Use the cleaning towel to dry the sides and bottom of the tank until it’s clean. If necessary, roll the dough at the welding seam or difficult cleaning places to cling the dirt, and then put on the cover.


Choose the hydraulic oil

The mark value of hydraulic oil is equal to the average value of viscosity when the temperature is 40℃.

If the working pressure and temperature of the hydraulic system are higher, and the working speeds slower, the chose hydraulic oil mark is higher.

It is recommended to use antiwar hydraulic oil ISO VG46# (the average value of viscosity is46mm2/s, when the temperature is 40℃.). If the machine operates under 5℃ for a long period, you can choose hydraulic oil ISO VG32#.

It is also recommended not to use the machine at very low temperatures (below -5°). However, should this occur, and then let the machine run idle for a while. An oil heater can be fitted in the circuit if required.

Under the normal working conditions, the oil temperature must not exceed 70C. Under special conditions, oil cooler can be fitted necessary.


Fill the oil

The using oil must clean. Screw the nut of air filter, filling through the air filter. If using the filling equipment with filter, you can open the cover of the oil tank and fill directly. Observe oil gauge, when ram stops at Top Dead Spot, the hydraulic oil fills at 80~90% of interspaces.

Make the machine work, first idling then at the maximum stroke to expel any air bubbles in the hydraulic circuit.

See also:


Press Brake Electrical System

CNC Bending Machine power supply using three-phase AC 50HZ 380V power, can not only be directly used for the main motor operation, but also for the rear gear servo and equipment lighting use after output AC voltage through the system internal transformer. The other group form into two sets of DC 24V after rectification, one way for CNC controller use, the other for the use of controlling loop.

Press Brake Electrical System

Press Brake Terminology

Check out 45 brake press terminology you should know


Press Brake Robot Integration

The following five questions will help sheet metal manufacturers assess whether robots should be used for bending operations.

Does the factory have an operator with rich experience and proficient in the computer to run the automatic bending unit?

Some experts believe that having an automated bending unit work is to allow an experienced bending worker to accept robots instead of artificial processes because automation will inevitably lead to job cuts, which can lead to the collective exclusion of workers. The welding workers in the sheet metal factory have undergone a tortuous process from rejection to acceptance of the automatic welder, and the popularization of the automatic bending unit will undergo a similar transformation.

There are also experts who believe that bending workers must discard the previous practice, that is, rely on the accumulation of small tips to manually produce high-quality parts and components but should input these tips into the bending programs to guide those unskilled workers or robots for automated production. Only skilled workers, with a willingness to open-minded and willing to use new technologies, can ensure that an automated unit is successful.

However, the current software is quite mature, even if the first-line workers with little experience, can easily operate most advanced bending units. The time is gone to take a few days to teach a robot to do a few simple bending operations for bending mere 5,000 parts.


■ What production tasks are best suited for using robots?

It depends on the actual situation of production, but the scope of application of the robot is very wide. Specifically, three production tasks are suitable for automated bends:

First, the large volume and repetitive operation of the task, occupy a lot of time for the operators and resulting in tedious pain.

Press Brake Robot Integration


Second, small batches, but frequently occurring tasks, as shown in the picture.

It is not only a large batch of tasks suitable for the use of robot bends, small batches, recurring tasks are also suitable.

Third, it takes two people to carry up the extra large parts of the material or may cause personal injury for the operator.

My view is that if it does not exceed the working radius of the robot, and within the load range of the press brake production tasks are appropriate. The core of the automation unit is that a manual bender and an automated unit can be charged by an operator nearby. It is very meaningful for a worker to be able to do two bending tasks on both the manual and automatic bending units. Robotic bends require more time to set than manual bends, but it is also worthwhile because productivity is significantly increased.


■ How much time does it take to program?

Almost all professionals admit that in the past few years, automated bending programming technology has made significant progress. It is not necessarily to understand the robot like engineering experts to program the automation unit. A programmer needs only a CAD module, after submitting the data, the software will generate the bend order and operation instructions. In some cases, people have to make a real bend test based on the recommendations, but software developers point out that such tests may be superfluous.

Now the software program is embedded in 3-D simulation module, can simulate the robot and press brake movements, before the production instructions reach the machine, can simulate detection, and visually confirm the order of the bend. In addition, the software can generate instructions (see Figure 3) for choosing clamping tools (see Figure 2), robot motion and material end picker.

Press Brake Robots Choosing Clamping Tools


Robot bending machines can be quickly converted between different production tasks due to improvements such as automatic clamping tools replacement devices.

automatic clamping tools replacement devices


On such a replacement workbench, the robot can replace the material end picker within a short 25s

In most cases, the programming can be done in the case of disconnection to ensure that the automatic bending unit is undisturbed.


■ What is additional investment required in addition to capital equipment investment?

You can’t talk about robot automation without leaving the security behind. The question concerns whether a sheet metal factory is willing to invest in a tangible fence, or a more open and secure grating to keep people safe. Two of investments are worth considering.

A safety cover is the cheapest option, but it takes up a lot of space, which is not good for the layout of the workshop. Take the bending unit of a major machine tool manufacturer, for example, it occupies an area of 12m long and 5m wide, including a feeder robot, but does not include space to accommodate the security fence. For a cramped production workshop, automated production with security guarantees is difficult to achieve.

For workers who are interested in safety gratings, note that the Automation unit may stop working in unexpected situations. The problem with the safety grating is not that it should not be used, but that most people do not know where the boundaries are, that some people simply have no intention of waving their hands through the workshop, without knowingly triggering the light of the safety grating, thus closing the bending unit.

However, safety gratings are suitable for use in relatively open workshops and are more suitable for companies that strictly restrict the entry of people into the workshop and clearly label the boundaries of the production unit. Investment in quick-change clamping tools has been mentioned before, and the next step behind this investment is to add an investment in the newly emerging automated mold library, as shown in Figure 4.

newly emerging automated mold library


In the latest generation of the automatic bending unit, the mold can be installed and downloaded according to program instructions, do not need to be manually installed.

After the program is programmed, the mold library is automatically installed and unloaded in the upper and lower die replacement device, which has a rotating disc that carries the mold, adjusts the mold to a suitable position, and installs it to one of the top and bottom two clamping devices.


■ How to determine the reasonable cost of a robot?

This depends primarily on the effective working time of the press brake, which will help assess whether it should be purchased. When you can have an operator take care of two bending machines at the same time, the productivity improvement is very obvious. But investors should pay more attention to the utilization of equipment. If the automatic press brake always shut down, other than the continuous production of parts, then it will not continue to create a return on investment.

To improve device utilization, a company should improve all aspects of the automation unit. In many practices, the time to set the preparation is as much as the time of production and fabrication. What is the point of an automated unit that does not match a quick-change device? Compared with the traditional two-axis back gauge, how much faster can the components of a six-axis back gauge be produced on the automation unit? If every process is not very smooth, then enhance the efficiency of a single process is meaningless.

It is, of course, necessary to think about the length of the production cycle, but in many practices shortening the cycle of production is not as effective as increasing the number of components in one shift or one day. The key to the problem is to reduce the standby time of the press brake so that it can be in working condition for a long time to increase the production significantly.


Press Brake Tips

If you want to get some press brake tips and tricks, please read this article again carefully.


Press Brake Operator

Press Brake Operator’s Job Responsibilities

  • Under the leadership of the director in sheet metal workshop, conscientiously learn to obey the rules and regulations of the company, obey the arrangement of the leadership work, unite the staff, make positive efforts, and do the saving work well, produce the qualified products.
  • Responsible for routine maintenance, inspection, repair, adjustment, fastening, and do a good record for the press brake.
  • Familiar with the safety technical procedures, in strict accordance with the safety technology disclosure and operating procedures. Master the normal operation method of the press brake. Can accurately judge, timely and correctly take urgent measures under the abnormal situation of machinery.
  • Check whether there is enough oil in the tank, checking valve, pipeline leakage, and oil pressure after start the pump, confirm where they meet the requirements.
  • Before start press brake must carefully check whether the motor, switch, wire, and grounding are normal and firm, check whether the control parts of equipment and buttons are in the correct position.
  • Check the coincidence degree and robustness of the upper and lower mold, and check whether the positioning devices meet the requirements of the fabrication.
  • Back to the origin program when the upper slide plate and each positioning axis are not in the Origin state.
  • 1-2 minutes after the equipment starts the empty operation, and the stroke finished 2-3 times movement, if discovers has the abnormal sound or has the breakdown, stop the press brake immediately, eliminate the trouble. After everything is confirmed in good condition to start to continue operation.
  • During work there should be 1 people take the command so that the operators and feed suppression personnel can work closely; send a bend signal after confirming all the personnel is in a safe position.
  • Sheet metal must be compacted in order to prevent the injuries due to the warping during bending operation.
  • The power must be cut off and waiting for the machine stopped before adjusting the punch.
  • When changing the V opening of the bottom dies, no material is allowed to contact the lower die.
  • Check whether the fastening screws are loose frequently.
  • Do not operate the press brake alone, should be coordinated by 2 people to feed, control the size of precision, and material takes. The site should be commanded by one person.
  • No other items should be placed on the workbench.
  • The press brake must be stopped before adjustment and cleaning.
  • Stack the finished products well, clean the site, cut off the power and lock the switch box before off duty.

Press Brake Operator’s Salary

In China, the wages for press brake operators are around 450-800usd per month. And the salary is different in various countries.

Press Brake Buyer’s Guide

Press Brake Purchase

For companies planning to purchase a new type of press brake, the manufacturers can offer a variety of pricing with different controllers.

But experience shows that it is not easy to consider the overall situation.

The ideal way is to analyze your own needs and place them in the core position of the selection process.

And where should these considerations be started?


Four principles should be followed when choosing press brake:

  • Precision used in the operation of the mechanical system.

In principle, it can be argued that the error of the radius is physically unavoidable, so the point is how much deviation can be accepted by the user.

Slightly less accurate for simple parts is acceptable, but most parts often require high precision, especially in the case of continue fabrication after bending.

  • How flexible the new machinery must be.

The wider range of the parts, the more species, then the more requirement for flexibility of the press brake machine.

In other words, for economic reasons, the press brake in the hardware and software operations must be very simple.

Even when the order changes frequently and is rarely repeated, the adjustment time can be minimized.

  • Need to determine the production capacity and size of the press brake machine.

From the dimensions of the part, the pressure, bending length, stroke and structural height must be measured

  • It is advisable for the prospective buyer to consider carefully from the end use of the machine, the possible deflection of the known machine, the bending radius of the part, etc.

In order to help customers to buy the right press brake, we wrote 7 factors you should consider before purchasing press brake


Press Brake FAQ

Press Brake vs Folding Machine

In recent years in Europe and the United States, 30% of the sheet metal factory is willing to invest in the use of folding machine instead of press brake for bending fabrication.

It is mainly because folding machine operation is more convenient, and it is a kind of bending equipment with many advantages.

Certainly, these two kinds of equipment have their own characteristics.

I will compare the characteristics of two kinds of equipment from the principle of work, for your reference:


Press Brake:

press brake

  • In the entire bending process, the operator must hold the sheet material and rely on manual delivery to the back gauge for positioning.
  • Unsafe for large and heavy-duty sheet operators.
  • Because the weight of the sheet causes the bending angle becomes larger.
  • One operator is difficult to complete the bending of large workpieces.
  • The bending angle is determined by the depth of the upper die into the lower die.
  • A small deviation of plate thickness causes inconsistent bending angle.
  • Different plate thickness bends need to be configured with the different punch and dies.
  • The installation and commissioning of the machine require professional knowledge, long boot time.
  • The high cost of buying, replacing and keeping molds.
  • Maximum Bending width is limited by upright.
  • Press brake is more complex to use.
  • The operator must be trained into the professional skilled worker.
  • A longer work cycle for each step.
  • The repetition accuracy of the workpiece depends on the technology of the operator.


Folding Machine:

sheet metal folder

  • In the bending process, the sheet material is placed on the worktable of back gauge, to ensure the bending distance and hold the plate.
  • In manual mode, the safety of operators is greatly improved.
  • The errors for small thickness will not affect bending accuracy.
  • Bending different thickness of plate does not need to replace the mold.
  • Skill requirements for operators are not high.
  • High bending efficiency

See also:

A quick calculation method of sheet metal bend expansion

For sheet metal bending and expansion, one side of the sheet will be elongated, the other side will be compressed. The affecting factors including material type, material thickness, heat treatment and bending angle.

calculation method of sheet metal bend expansion


Expand Calculation Principle:

  1. During the bending process, the outer layer is subjected to tensile stress, and the inner layers are subjected to compressive stress. There is a transition layer which is neither tensile nor pressure from pull to pressure, which is called the neutral layer. The length of the neutral layer remains unchanged in the bending process, same as the length before the bending, so the neutral layer is the basis for calculating the expansion length of the bending piece.
  2. The position of the neutral layer is related to the degree of deformation.

When the bending radius is larger and the bending angle is small, the deformation degree is small, and the neutral layer is near the center of the sheet thickness; When the bending radius becomes smaller and the bending angle increases, the degree of deformation increases, and the position of the neutral layer moves toward the inner part of the bending center gradually. The distance from the neutral layer to the inside of the sheet is expressed in λ.


Basic Formula for Expansion Calculation:

Expansion length = inner layer + inner layer + compensation amount

Formula for Expansion Calculation

Calculation of minimum bending edge of one bend

The starting state of the L-bend is shown in the following illustration:

Reference table for bending inner R and minimum bending height of cold rolled sheet

No.ThicknessDie Groove WidthConvex die RMin Bending Height

The starting state of the Z-bend is shown in the following illustration:


The minimum bending size (L) of the sheet metal corresponding to Z-bend for materials with different thickness is shown in the following table:

No.ThicknessDie Groove WidthConvex die RZ Bending Height

See also:

Press Brake Bending Allowance (Tolerances)

1) Tolerance Standards for Common Bending

Tolerance Standards for Common Bending

2) Tolerance Standards for Z Bending

Tolerance Standards for Z Bending

3) Tolerance Standards for V Bending

Tolerance Standards for V Bending

4) Tolerance Standards for U Bending

Tolerance Standards for U Bending

You can also check out Solidworks Tutorial of Bend Allowance: Sheet Metal Design to learn 3 different methods to calculate bend allowance.

< End >

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We have both economical NC type press brake and advanced CNC press brake with all the key components imported from Germany, American, Italy, Holland, France, etc to ensure the durability and quality of the machine.
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  1. Les December 1, 2017 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I really like reading an article that can make people think.
    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    • MachineMfg December 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your compliment, very appreciate that.

  2. Montanamainer January 10, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

    This is incredible, thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Valery January 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Answer, please, a question.
    At bending of the broad band from thick metal on the small radius, where the cracks will begin on outside surface of this band:
    on two lateral surfaces of this band
    or in the center for width of this band?

  4. Valery February 1, 2018 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks for prompt reply. According to your link, in the figure 17,c (this figure is provided on many websites), the beginning of formation of a crack is not visible (from the center or from two opposite edges?).
    You can give still links to photos, on which the beginning of formation of a crack is visible at bending? Thanks.

  5. Paul Davis February 25, 2018 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    This has to be, hands down, the best article explaining 1) what press brakes are, 2) what they do, 3) how they function, 4) how the used material is affected and 5) what are some alternatives for simpler forming needs (i.e. folding). Great job guys!! Love it!

  6. fabtexbaler March 9, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Great blogs , thanks for sharing

  7. Methier April 13, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Thanks for the information

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