Deciding which brake press to invest in can be a complicated process. With a diverse range of brake press technologies available on the market, it pays to be able to understand the advantages of each. In this article, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the four types of brake press technology.

If you want economy, choose a mechanical press

The oldest model of press brake, mechanical presses use a flywheel and an electric motor to move the ram vertically. Although relatively fast and cost efficient, mechanical presses are only suitable for operations where accuracy and control are not important as once the stroke is started it cannot be stopped. The speed of the ram also can’t be controlled, making mechanical presses one of the more dangerous models to operate.

If you require a press for low tonnage operations, choose a pneumatic press

Using air pressure to exert tonnage on the ram, pneumatic presses are a step up from mechanical models but still relatively primitive compared to the hydraulic press. However, if you only require a brake press for low tonnage operations, then the pneumatic press is the most cost effective option.

If you need accuracy and control, choose a hydraulic press

By far the most popular press design, hydraulic models have been used since the 1950s and operate with two synchronised hydraulic cylinders on the C frames to move the upper beam. Hydraulic presses offer a number of advantages over earlier models in terms of control, safety and accuracy. Able to be moved up or down at any stage during the operation process, each cylinder can also have a different tonnage placed upon it to enable complicated crowning control. A hydraulic press produces accurate, high quality products and is ideal for high tonnage operations.

If you want even distribution, choose a servo electric press

These designs utilize a servo motor to exert tonnage on the arm with a ballscrew or belt drive. Servo electric presses offer a number of advantages over hydraulic models in that they produce a very even distribution of forces, almost rendering the need for a crowning table obsolete. Cycle times are also substantially shorter and the press is both more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The only disadvantage of the servo electric press is it’s cost, which is likely to lower as the technology becomes more widely used.

ACRA stocks a quality range of new and used press brakes. To learn more about our range, get in touch with us by calling 03 9794 6675.