Understanding CNC Hydraulic Press Brake

Posted on Jul 22, 2021

CNC Hydraulic Press Brake

A CNC hydraulic press brake is a sheet and plate metal bending machine. By clamping the workpiece between a punch and die, the press brake shapes curves, and CNC is used to pre-program these processes. Besides hydraulic press brakes, various kinds of press brakes are available, such as mechanical, pneumatic, and servo-electric press brakes. The CNC hydraulic press brake uses hydraulic cylinders to generate the pressing force.

What is a CNC Hydraulic Press Brake?

CNC hydraulic press brakes are a large cold forming machine designed for precision metal forming processes. It bends sheet metals to form desired profiles. Some models can provide up to 4,000 tons of bending force during operation. A typical press has a width ranging from 4 to 30 feet.

Design & Construction

The essential parts in a CNC hydraulic press brake include a hydraulic unit, a control panel, a controller with an automatic feeder, a bolster plate, a ram, and the frame. Below we describe some of the key components.

Bench and Column

The workbench consists of the base and the press plates. It is attached with the clamping plate through a hinge. The columns are a part of the frame that supports all the components on the machine. The workpieces are bent on the workbench.

Press Plate

The press plate (or bolster plate) is mounted on the base. Equipped with die cushions, the plate allows the press brake to apply counter draw forces. The sheet metals are fed between the bolster plate and the ram guide for the process, shaped by the upper and lower dies.

Ram/Slide Guidance

The ram is the part where the upper dies are mounted, driving the dies to press against the workpiece. The pressing force of the ram is controlled by the CNC system. The drive type determines the press progression as the ram travels. Rigid guidance and proper control are the keys to a longer lifespan of the CNC hydraulic press brake.

Controller and Feeder

Generally, CNC press brakes employ automatic feeders to consistently feed the raw materials to the forming area. Before being loaded, the materials are treated by other machines, such as the decoiler and the sheet metal straightener.

Working Principle

Brake shaping usually mold metals up to 10" thick and some equipment can form parts as long as 20 feet. The bent angle can also be accurately controlled by regulating the depth of the ram's motion. The ram descends to press against the sheet metal held by the lower die. As the force is applied to the sheet metal, it changes its shape according to the design of the die set.


CNC Press Brake Machine, KRRASS Machine Tools


A hydraulic CNC press brake comes with a number of benefits owing to its simple design and working principle. They are easy to operate, efficient, cost-effective, and versatile. Let’s take a look at its advantages.

User-friendly Operation

CNC press brakes are a simple and user-friendly unit. They are numerically operated machines where even semi-skilled operators can conveniently program and rapidly produce all the necessary components. As the controller directs the user in a stage-wise process, it is possible for the inexperienced operator to properly use this machine.

Flexible CNC Programming

Modular programming helps the user to set up the unit. Once the appropriate operation is chosen, another series of options (cycle times, bending degree, flange length, stresses, and more) relevant to the manufacturing process appears on the panel. After the variables are set, the values are shown on the screen and the unit is ready to run.

Multitasking & Energy-saving

It is a multitasking system that requires only one operator to inspect the first component and also work on the second part-related program. The other operators may work on programming or other tasks at the same time. In terms of system configuration, it is energy-saving.

While the slide guidance is empty, it does not consume any electricity. The hydraulic pumps and the motor are the components that require a constant power supply. The CNC system guarantees an efficient power transmission. The slider helps provide fast and accurate presses, further reducing energy consumption.

Structural Integrity

Compared to other forming processes that require fusing parts together with heat, the press brake can accomplish the task without heating and melting. This shortens the cycle time while providing the same (sometimes better) structural integrity of the part. This advantage also improves the overall productivity significantly.


The CNC hydraulic press brake provides numerous shapes with the freedom to bend the sheet metals at almost any desired angle. Moreover, it can process various types of metals. The CNC system ensures a wide variety of bends and unique structures with high precision and permits the exact fit for versatile applications.


As the sheet metal forming machine, CNC hydraulic press brakes frequently work with shearing machines, sheet angle cutting machines, and more to form complicated surface profiles on sheet metals. With exceptional forming capacity and accuracy, the CNC hydraulic press brake is increasingly popular for a host of industrial applications including transportation, military, energy, aerospace, automotive, and more.

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