Suggestions For Press Brake Operator

If you had one good metal press brake machine, you also should be know how to running one perfect bending action!

Press brake operator can Maximun performance for one press brake bending machines!

Many factors contribute to good part formation on a press brake. But every operator must understand four simple but crucial elements of the process for that to happen:

  • The operator

  • The brake

  • The tooling

  • The drawings

Press brake machine Operator

Foremost are the operators, who need to be well-trained and offered regular training updates on the proper use of the metal press brakes machine.

Press brake machine Operators also should know the importance of the other three factors listed previously and be able to use those elements to the fullest to produce the most accurate parts possible in the shortest amount of time. The goal of operators is not only to make good parts but also to keep setup time to a minimum within the confines of a given metal sheet bending brakes,

Remember, time spent in setup is time not spent making parts, so reducing setup time is very important. Only bending machine operator's expertise can reduce setup time on a press brake machine.

Operators also should remember the correlation between setup time and the number of parts made so that they can factor setup time into the time per part produced.

For short runs the setup time must be minimized as compared to longer runs of complicated parts. It follows, then, that simple parts requiring little setup time can and should be made in small quantities economically, while complicated parts with longer setup times should be made in larger quantities. Press brake operators are responsible for helping to make that decision, and they need the expertise to make the right decision.

Press Brake Machines

Matching Expertise With Machine. Many years ago fabrication company had only two types of press brakes to choose from — mechanical and hydraulic. Since both of these required long setup times, it was practical to make many parts resulting in large inventories.

With the subsequent introduction of full CNC Synchro Press brakes, setup time was reduced greatly, and the expertise the operator needed changed. Setup and operation of a full CNC press brake machine  require a different level of experience and knowledge than manual NC press brake setup and operation.

Therefore, the type of brake pressing machine  available determines the required level of operator knowledge, as well as the outflow of formed parts. An operator with extensive experience on a NC bending brake must be completely retrained for a CNC brake pressing machine; operators must become intimately familiar with their machines and know those machines' physical limitations.

Limitations. All press brakes have a concentrated load limit calculated in tons per meter  in the center of the machine. Exceeding the tons-per-meter limit can damage the machine, the tooling, or the formed part.

It follows that the metal bending operator must estimate the tonnage required to form a part before making the first bend. Of course, this is critical only if the operator is bottom-bending or coining. You can't exceed the tonnage limit during air bending. Only during bottom bending or coining can the tonnage applied escalate to the rated tonnage of the machine.

Tonnage charts are available from all press brake manufacturers, and charts sometimes are mounted on the press brake itself. Keep in mind, however, that tonnage charts are for air bending only. To use the chart to estimate tonnage for bottoming or coining, simply multiply the air bend tonnage by 4 for bottoming and by 8 for coining.

Sometimes it is better to form a part off-center if your press brake machine can do this. Check with the manufacturer of your machine before attempting this, though. If a machine is not designed for off-center loading, you can damage it severely if you try it.

Maintenance of press brake machines. In addition, operators should know all of their machine's maintenance requirements. This includes periodic oil and filter changes (for hydraulic machines), regular lubrication, and proper machine level. Even if maintaining the machine isn't the operator's responsibility, he should at least be familiar with the procedures.

Tooling design and using

The operator should know and understand the terms air bending, bottom bending, and coining. Each type of sheet bending requires different tooling, and while there can be some overlap, it just isn't practical to use the same set of tools for all types of bending.

Air bending is always the preferred method of bending, but the angle tolerance and the required inside radius sometimes make it necessary to bottom-bend or coin.

Operators must be familiar with all available press brake bending tools . In addition, they really should check tooling tolerances each time a punch and die is pulled from storage. It is the responsibility of the operator to make sure that the tooling always is within the manufacturer's specifications; if it is not, the tooling must be remachined or replaced. It is almost impossible to make good parts with bad tooling.

Drawings followed with brake pressing machines

This includes the dimensions of the part, bend angle, inside radius, and the blank size, complete with acceptable tolerances for each. The drawing should be based on the capability of the press brake and press brake bending tools  that are available for the job. If any information is omitted from the drawing, an operator faces the problem of filling in the blanks. This takes time away from making parts and more often than not leads to a high percentage of scrap.

Operators need training in all aspects of a drawing's information and how this information is related to the tooling and the bending machines..

It is the knowledge and experience of press brake operators that help to guarantee metal bending part accuracy and economy; it is management's responsibility to provide the training necessary to give that expertise to the operators in the first place.