Share content on LinkedIn Share content on YouTube

Building Bend-Angle Accuracy into Press Brake Design and Control

October 31, 2023

Cincinnati-Press-Brake-Dynamic-Thickness-CompensationCincinnati Inc. has been producing press brakes for more than a century. Over that time, the company has learned that building accuracy into the press brake involves three keys areas, according to Todd Kirchoff, product manager.

“Producing accurate bend angles on a press brake requires close attention to machine design and condition, operator ability, and material specifications,” he says. “During the development process, Cincinnati engineering, applications, safety and service departments collaborate to optimize these areas.” 

Kirchoff then goes on to describe how Cincinnati press brakes achieve needed accuracy.

Machine Design. Ensuring angle accuracy starts with building stability into the press brake frame which comprises the bed, ram and side housings. The frame must have minimal deflection and twist under load, for accurate results. It’s also critical to maintain precise control of the ram position throughout the stroke. Fast-response hydraulics and precision linear encoders continuously monitor the distance between the bed and ram, then feed this distance position to the control. Precise ram control is especially essential to achieve optimal results while air bending—today’s most common forming method. 

Operator Ability. A well-designed control can improve an operator’s abilities—not only so that an operator can set up the machine quickly, but also to prevent programming errors that could damage or knock the machine out of alignment permanently. A press brake that is not in optimal condition cannot produce optimal results. 

For example, a well-designed control can ease how an operator enters a ram reversal value. A tooling library that contains the tool’s critical dimensions allows the operator to simply enter the desired bend angle. The control does the rest by automatically calculating the exact ram reversal position to achieve the desired angle without die crashes.

Material Specifications. Finally, most operators would notice the difference between two different gauge thicknesses fairly readily. But it would be expecting too much of an operator to feel gauge differences of only a few thousandths of an inch. Because thickness variations always exist from piece to piece, a few thousandths of an inch can cause bend angles to drift out of tolerance. For example, in a 16-gauge material, a few thousandths of an inch can cause more than a full degree of bend-angle variation. 

Cincinnati’s Dynamic Thickness Compensation system detects these small variations and adjusts the ram reversal position automatically to hold the bend angles in tolerance.  

Cincinnati’s latest press brake model, the XForm, provides advancements in cycle speed and energy savings, and real-time feedback. However, unchanged is the rigid frame design and simplified program controls that are key to achieving accurate bend angles that press brake users need.

For more on efforts involving bending accuracy from a variety of press brake manufacturers, visit MetalForming’s roundup article.

Industry-Related Terms: Bed, Bending, Die, Forming, Gauge, Model, Ram, Stroke, Thickness, Tolerance, Twist
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Cincinnati Inc.

Technologies: Bending


Must be logged in to post a comment.
There are no comments posted.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Start receiving newsletters.