Call us on: +44 (0)1628 529724

What is a Press Brake?

Press brakes are machine tools or fabrication machines which are able to bend sheet metal. Material is placed over V-shaped dies before it is pressed into by a punch from above. The machines are capable of bending not only simple but complex parts.

These machines can bend simple and complex parts, and they are used in a variety of industries ranging from automotive and aircraft to housing and cabinets. Press brakes are also known as brakes and brake presses. The machines normally have upper and lower sections.

What is a Press Brakes used for?

Press brakes are used in a number of industries and sectors. They are frequently used in the aircraft and automotive industries and are also used in furniture-making and to manipulate materials for housing.

Press braking can appear to be a simple process, but achieving the required levels of accuracy can be tougher than you might expect. Tooling can help manufacturers to meet their targets and meet the specifications they have been presented with.

What can Press Brakes make?

Press brakes allow operators to make parts and tools from materials including metal and plastic. Brakes are able to create precision bends, cuts and punches into material. The operators of press brakes assess plans or blueprints for finished products and can adjust their machines in order to change speeds, feeds and cut paths.

Metals that can be manipulated with press brakes include aluminium, stainless steel, hot-rolled carbon steel, cold-rolled carbon steel and brass.

How do I choose which press brake is most suitable for my needs?

When you are considering buying a press brake and need to know which machines to consider, you need to think about the bending length and tonnage as well as the thickness and size of the material that you’ll be bending.

The term ‘tonnage’ refers to the bending force of the brake. This will determine the level of pressure the punch can apply at the bending stage. If you are bending thinner materials, you will require lower tonnage, whereas if you’re working with hard, thick materials, you will need to opt for a higher level of tonnage.

The bending length is the maximum length of metal sheet that the machine can bend. The press brake length should be slightly greater than the sheets that you will be bending. For instance, you could opt for a 6’ bending length if you are bending 4’ metal sheets.

How do press brakes work?

The upper part of a press brake features a punch which has a V-shape, whilst the lower part has the same shape and is called a die. When the two sections are moved together, the sheet metal between them is forced to bend.

It is essential to pay close attention to bending lengths and tonnage. All machines have load limits, and if you opt for the wrong tonnage you could render the machine unusable or at least damage the working part, die or press ram.

What are the differences between a servo-electric and hydraulic press brake?

Hydraulic and servo-electric press brakes have different attributes and qualities, so it’s wise to find out what these are before you make a purchase. Electric press brakes may be best if speed and accuracy are of the utmost importance. Many modern electric models have CNC controls which can help you avoid costly errors.

One of the reasons why hydraulic press brakes remain popular is that they aren’t as challenging for staff to get to grips with. The ease-of-use of the hydraulic option has enabled it to retain much of its popularity over the years. These press brakes offer remarkably simple controls and can be cheaper, which also explains why they are yet to be rendered obsolete. This means employees can work on production runs without having to undergo extensive training.

Where are SafanDarley press brakes made?

SafanDarley has production plants in Lochem and Eijsden in the Netherlands. The company is widely agreed to be a global market leader when it comes to designing and manufacturing press brakes for thick and thin sheet metal. The company is involved at every stage of creating press brakes, including research and development, engineering, manufacturing and assembly. At present, the company employs 160 team members.

The team adhere to the strictest standards of quality control and do everything in their power to keep wastage to a minimum via the principles of lean manufacturing. This enables them to operate in a socially-responsible manner and achieve the best quality/price ratio they can.

What are the main advantages of the SafanDarley press brake?

There are many great reasons for purchasing SafanDarley press brakes. The company is noted for its world-class standards of reliability, innovation and quality as well as sustainability. The efficiency of the products has delivered an international customer base. In fact, the company ranks within the top three manufacturers of sheet metal working machines not just in the Netherlands or Europe but the world.

Employees are experts when it comes to bending, cutting and handling sheet metal. The company also designed to the pioneering original E-brake, which has resulted in a unique series of electronic press brakes unsurpassed by any manufacturer in the world. SafanDarley is also a global leader when it comes to hydraulic press brakes.

What press brake lengths and tonnages are available from SafanDarley?

SafanDarley offers the widest range of electronic press brakes on the planet. The invention of the E-brake has enabled it to soar past its competitors and develop its machines into various ranges. Pressure forces range between 20 to 300 tonnes, with working lengths being between 850 to 4100 mm.

The company also offer hydraulic press brakes from 175T to 1250T with bow lengths rising to 8200m. A new generation of SafanDarley H-Brakes has been created and offers blisteringly fast and robustly reliable product performance. The new H-brake also provides innovative options for eco-friendly production processes, which is a rarity when the heavy-duty hydraulic sector is considered.

The H-brake range offers the choice of new E-control or the pre-existing Delem controls to give you greater flexibility and enable you to seamlessly welcome the H-brake into your current infrastructure. Both controls are highly-innovative, modern and reliable.

What materials can be folded in press brakes?

The materials folded in press brakes are generally metals and plastics, although it is possible to work with other materials when using press brakes. SafanDarley offer press brakes and shears for thin and thick sheet metal. They also offer special press brakes and shears and automatic bending systems.

The company has also pioneered the innovative offline 3D programming system designed to optimise reliable process management. The programme features a state-of-the-art simulation and control module that means press brakes can be controlled remotely and productivity can be maximised. The system is designed to streamline your manufacturing processes, even in situations when other CAD programmes are in use.

What tooling is required for a press brake?

It is vital that the right tooling for press brakes is chosen if the right level of efficiency and performance is to be achieved. Safan Darley can provide you with all the advice that you need if you need help with selecting the right tooling for your press brake. Tooling can be used for curling, hemming, punching, squaring and shimming, to give just a few examples.

Is a press brake suitable for folding only?

Press brakes are synonymous with wiping as well as folding and can help you achieve your aims in a number of ways. The way any particular press brake works can depend on a number of factors, including the pressure and tonnage, back guage distance, work height and working length. A wide range of different bending methods can be accommodated by the functions offered by your press brake.

Wiping is another form of bending that is quicker than folding though won’t achieve the same level of precision. When you wipe sheets, you face a bigger risk of scratching the material or damaging it in another way. When wiping occurs, sheets are clamped between beams and then bent by the tool moving up and down. Folding is widely-regarded as the most suitable way to bend sizeable sheets, and the task is simple to automate. There is also less risk of damaging the sheet when you fold.

The difference between press brakes and folding machines is that press brakes offer a greater level of force. This makes them a better option for heavy, thick metal sheets. Opting for a press brake over a folding machine won’t mean losing out on accuracy and precision. It simply enables you to work with bigger, stronger sheets.


You can get in touch with Webster Machinery today by using the contact form on the site or calling (0)1628 529724. Webster Machinery is a leading supplier of SafanDarley press brakes and Press Brakes, Folding Machines, Sheet Metal Guillotines and Tooling from a host of leading manufacturers. To find out more about their products and services, contact Webster Machinery today.