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Press Brakes

MSWsteel

Plastic
Joined
Mar 7, 2024
Location
Ct
Hi, I just found this message board and spent hours reading. Great site.

I searched a good bit to see opinions on Press Brakes. I'm a small fabricator/manufacturer and I'm looking to pick up a brake instead of subbing out bending every time I need something bent. I'm going to be doing some more bending soon with a product I'm supposed to start making.

I have little knowledge in braking, I have been reading as much as I can as far as tonnage, point load, dies etc... My question is what Brake should I be looking for? I don't want a Chinese machine. Are Dreis Krump machines still made in America? Cincinati? It seems Betenbender, US industrial, and similar are all knockoff or overseas made. I'm wondering if the big names are made down the same street these days...

As far as older machines, I have no issue buying used but my lack of knowledge in Press brakes has me slightly concerned as to what I'm looking at, operation etc. Most of the used I have seen look like they had a very hard life.

I definitely want hydraulic. CNC sounds great but not necessary. I've read Dies are sometimes more expensive than the brakes, but I don't think I need much of a die inventory.

The main material being bent would be 11g mild steel, up to 8'6" long. 90 deg bends. Some smaller bends, maybe 16" long 11g but far less degree - for example. I think most commonly would be "coining" the 90 deg bends. The smaller would be air bent. Correct me if I'm wrong

I'm thinking 10' 125-ton range. Should give me some versatility.

Does anybody have any opinions on this matter? I'm open to all suggestions. I'm not looking to spent over 100k, but I'm also not expecting to pay 10k for a used machine that just works forever.

Thanks in advance
 
Stay away from Accurl or Moore Machine Tools.

Amada, Mitsubishi, and Cincinnati are all good. When I was shopping around I wanted the Cincinnati but the market changed and we had to halt spending on new machines. Anything new will be CNC. It's unlikely that you will be bottoming such long bends because the force for that is very high, and tooling is more expensive and less versatile. Coining takes even more force. Air bending is by far your cheapest option.

10' 125 tons will be a good size, but for 11 gauge you can get away with less tonnage. With a four axis backgauge and conventional hydraulic servos I bet you can get something below $100k from one of the suppliers I mentioned. fabsupplyinc.com is a great supplier of precision press brake tools and tend to be very economical for their stocked tooling. They have knowledgeable people there too.
 
Air bend, bottom bend, coining. Keep adding money. Tonnage keeps going up. You really need to define what you NEED vs what you WANT. Makes a $$$difference. I can air bend 10 feet of 10g. And have done it with 110 tons. Well maybe 8 foot. But really define what needs and wants are. The price of machines is very different if you layout bends with sharpie or crayons vs CNC back gauge. I do a lot of precise bends in 16 gauge and parts cannot become assemblies with hacked crayon bends. Your needs may vary. Bending is part science, part VooDoo or Magic. Easier to deal with science (sometimes), no luck with the other.
 
Air bend, bottom bend, coining. Keep adding money. Tonnage keeps going up. You really need to define what you NEED vs what you WANT. Makes a $$$difference. I can air bend 10 feet of 10g. And have done it with 110 tons. Well maybe 8 foot. But really define what needs and wants are. The price of machines is very different if you layout bends with sharpie or crayons vs CNC back gauge. I do a lot of precise bends in 16 gauge and parts cannot become assemblies with hacked crayon bends. Your needs may vary. Bending is part science, part VooDoo or Magic. Easier to deal with science (sometimes), no luck with the other.
Rule of thumb is it takes 10 tons to bend 1 foot of 10 gage material
Don
 
My take: depends how precise of bends you want...it only takes thousandths of wear to make bananas........
the control system really determines the quality of bends, micro switches or encoders to control ram.
Most used will have the center "worn". Read up on crowning.
Usually brakes are ruined by someone putting thick stuff in the middle thinking that's OK
Hey, it does 3/16 in 10 so I can bend 2 ft of half....WRONG

I was faced with your same issue years ago.
I went with a 10' Pacific, hydraulic.
But, when it arrived we tore it completely apart, literally. Had the ram reground true, resealed the cylinders, complete hydraulic refurbish.
Then we went with a PLC with touchscreen and encoders to operate it. Of course was painted to look new too....lol
Has been trouble free since that day.........

Crowning: you need something, either manual or cnc driven to bend straight. We purchased a Wila unit, pricy, but it works so well........

Tooling: Depending on the style of tooling, if all possible go sectional. Yea , not cheap, but the ease of swapping tooling far out weighs the price.
We went Wila here too.......It has held up perfect.
So, wrapping up...if you have mechanical skills, lots of brakes out there, if you struggle changing your car oil, well..............
 
Also need to find the tonnage on coining bends in the gauge/lengths you need. Some late model press brakes do coining bends by tonnage. Also note that bottom bends and coining bends require punches and dies for each angle needed.
 
Iroquoisiron.com makes brakes that may be a good fit for basic bending. They are a small company just across town from me. They don't have all the fancy bells and whistles of the big companies but would be a place to start...
 
So I ended up finding a press local to me, and pulled the trigger. It’s much bigger than I planned but it came with loads of tooling and I certainly won’t out grow it… Cincinnati 350 ton hydraulic @ 14’ long. 12’6 between housings. The shop didn’t use it to its potential it’s in very good shape.
 








 
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