Many metal structures and objects start as simple flat, rectangular pieces. Metal fabricators perform sheet metal forming and bending with a press brake to create signs, fences, angle braces, door frames, brackets, rods, and metal tubes of various sizes. Sheet metal forming and bending with a press brake forms the core of a metalworking business.

How Press Brakes Work

A press brake clamps a section of sheet metal between a punch (the top piece) and a die (the bottom piece) to form a bend or angle in the metal. Some press brakes reverse the process, punching from below.

Typically, press brakes make a V-shaped angle in sheet metal, creating a flange for a variety of purposes. Depending on the size of the machine, the punch, and the type of die, press brakes can turn out metal pieces that are L-shaped, V-shaped, or even W-shaped.

Workpieces can be run under press brakes multiple times to create several bends that ultimately meet.

Forming and Bending

Bending is a type of forming. All metal parts are formed in some way, but not all of them undergo bending. Take the example of a metal pipe or tube. The raw metal material can be run through a rolling machine several times to curve it into a pipe shape that is then welded together at a seam.

That pipe will be straight. Bending is a subsequent process that imposes force on the piece to add curves or angles. The machines that do that are called press brakes.

Punches and Dies

There is greater variety in punches and dies than people think. Metal fabricating shops should analyze how much time they typically spend on each kind of project and select punches and dies accordingly to minimize time spent switching out attachments. The rule of thumb is to stick with equipment that can do 80 percent of the work you pull in and send the more specialized or less common jobs to other workers.

Mac-Tech has press brakes for sale. These machines can improve productivity and efficiency and help your metalworking shop turn out a greater volume of quality work more quickly.

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