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Press Brake and Folding Brake [Comparison and Difference]

Press Brake and Folding Brake are common sheet metal forming machines. They have many similarities but also differences. Mainly, they are different in working principle and bending performance.

1. What is a Press Brake? What is a Folding Brake? [Definition]

Press Brake Bending Machine For Sale

- Press Brake Bending Machine

It is processing equipment capable of bending sheet metal. The upper and lower dies re respectively fixed on the upper and lower worktables of the bending machine. It makes use of the relative motion of the hydraulic driving table and combines the shape of the upper and lower molds to realize the bending forming of the plate. 

- Folding Brake Edging Machine

Folding Brake Machine

The folding machine is equipment that processes the edges of products. The motor drives the upper slider to compress the plate. The flanged beam rotates from bottom to top, thus driving the plate to bend and form. 

You may also want to know Electric Panel Bender VS CNC Press Brake

2. Differences Between Press Brake and Folding Brake

- Working Principles

Press Brake Machine: It changes the bending angle by controlling the mold and pressure. When bending the short edges inside, the operator needs to lift most of the material outside. When bending large work pieces, two or more workers are required to work together.

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Folding Brake Machine: After the user puts the plate flat on the working table, the edge beam is pressed down to fix the plate. Flanging beam up and down achieves edge folding. In all the folding processes of an edge, it is no longer in need of manual positioning and auxiliary turning and positioning work.

Because the bending principle is different, the folding machine R angle is larger than the press brake machine. Limited by the support of the table, folding machine cannot process the work piece on both sides down. The size of the work piece is limited by the pressing area of the upper die. Fold brakes cannot process less than the size of the compression area of the work piece.

- Bending precision and quality

On press brakes, because the bending angle is controlled by the down force of the upper die, the angle error is related to the material thickness.

But after the folding machine finishes a folding, it will take this as the benchmark. Its bending angle is a directly controlled flanging angle, independent of the material thickness.

Therefore, the folding machine is easier to control the accuracy. But at the same time, the bending angle of the folder brake is very limited.

When the press brake is working, the material will produce relative movement in the lower die, which will leave a dent. At the same time, when bending large work pieces, we need to turn and move for many times, and scratches will inevitably occur in this process.

When the folding machine is working, the blank holder and the flanging cutter do not move relative to the material, so the surface damage can be avoided to some extent. It has less damage to the metal sheets.

For simple flanging processing of very small thin plates, the folding brake must be more handy. For complex bending of some large and thick plates at different angles, the press brake will be very useful.

- Scope of application

For the processing range, the press brake is more extensive. Especially for complex process, CNC press brake machine working efficiency and accuracy is higher. Due to the structural characteristics of the machine and the diversity of bending dies, many complex shapes can formed through the CNC press brakes.

Relatively speaking, folding machine flexibility is poor. Its application range is limited. It can just complete bending plate edge simple processing. It is unable to complete complex bending processes with various angles and different types.

- Operation and Use

The use of press brake machine is more flexible and extensive. It can be used for a variety of plate processing. But its working principle is more complex and the processing is more complicated. Therefore, the requirements for workers in operation are higher.

press brake sheet follower supporting device

When press brake bending, the operator needs to lift most of the external materials. When bending large work pieces, two or more employees are required to assist. Of course, press brake machine can also be equipped with a sheet follower supporting device or a manipulator for semi-automatic or fully automatic processing. The overall production logic will be more advanced.

Automatic Robotic Press Brake Machine

The technical requirements of the folding brake machine are relatively low. After the programming is completed, the main work of the workers becomes simple loading and unloading. No skilled bending workers are required. So it has lower requirements for operators. 

3. How to choose press brake and folding brake? 

This is mainly based on the actual needs of users.

- For very small and thin plates, just carry out simple flanging process, the folding brake is very accurate and convenient.

- For the work pieces with different bending angle and complicated processing steps, the use of CNC press brake machine can achieve good results.

Regardless of the bending capacity or scope of application, press brake is more versatile. And the folding machine is simpler.