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Whether you’re a maintenance technician or a business owner, this guide offers a solid foundation in press brake care. Dive into the world of maintaining bending processes effectively to keep your operations sharp.

In the world of metal fabrication, the press brake stands in the limelight  of industrial machinery. Its role in bending various metals into intricate forms is essential if your business wants to deliver high-quality products that are up to any job. 

But the path from raw material to finished part is full of potential pitfalls, and the health of your press brake plays a huge part in the final output. The maintenance of your press brake is pivotal for the smooth operation of your business.

An Introduction to Press Brakes

The heartbeat of any sheet metal bending operation is the press brake. It stands as the workhorse, tirelessly transforming flat sheets into rigid structures – be it for household appliances, automotive parts, or intricate architectural elements. The press brake serves as the hub of operations and craftsmanship, blending force, precision, and control.

3 Reasons Why Press Brake Maintenance Matters

Whether you’re buying a new or used press brake, the significance of maintaining your machine should never be underestimated. From ensuring your machines longevity to improving safety and efficiency, the ripple effects of diligent maintenance are wide-reaching and highly valuable to your operations .

1) Ensuring Machine Longevity

Investing in press brake maintenance is a significant venture. Regular maintenance not only protects that investment but also extends the life of your machinery. Neglect, after all, is the silent killer of industrial equipment, leading to costly repairs and premature replacement.

2) Improving Safety and Efficiency

Safety in the workplace should never be compromised. Neglected machinery can pose serious risks to your team. By maintaining proper functionality, you’re ensuring a safe working environment while also optimising your press brake’s performance and efficiency.

3) Cost-saving Benefits

An often overlooked benefit of press brake maintenance is the cost savings it brings. Routine checks and calibrations can identify issues before they inevitably snowball into monumental costs. A well-maintained machine operates more efficiently, consuming less power and minimising material waste.

Key Maintenance Practices

Now let’s look at the all important best practices when it comes to the maintenance of your press brake machine. While this list is not extensive, it will give you some key areas to regularly check for optimal on-going production. They’ll help your machines run pain free. 

1) Regular Inspections

Conducting daily, weekly, and monthly checks as part of your press brake maintenance,  can catch issues early and prevent expensive downtime. You should inspect everything from the hydraulic system to the tooling, looking for signs of wear, leaks, or misalignments.

2) Lubrication

Proper lubrication is the lifeblood of machinery. It reduces friction, prevents corrosion, and ultimately extends the life of your press brake. Understanding the lubrication needs of your sheet metal machine is critical, as over-lubrication can be as problematic as under-lubrication.

3) Calibration and Alignment

The precision demanded of a press brake means that even slight misalignments can spell disaster for product quality and equipment health. Regular calibration ensures that your machine remains within the tight tolerances required for accurate bending.

4) Training and Education for Operators

Your maintenance efforts can only go so far if your operators aren’t properly trained. Educating your team on the correct operation of the press brake, as well as on the signs of potential issues, turns them into active participants in the maintenance process.

5) Creating a Maintenance Schedule

Consistency is key to effective maintenance. By creating a detailed schedule that outlines when specific tasks need to be performed, you’re ensuring that no crucial maintenance steps fall through the cracks.

6) Utilising Technology for Monitoring

The modern industrial landscape offers a range of technological solutions for maintenance monitoring. From predictive analytics to real-time monitoring systems, these tools can provide invaluable insights into the state of your machinery, often anticipating issues before they occur.

Beyond Maintenance

While proactive is great, nothing beats a proper service of your machine, and that is where we can help. Press & Shear has a team of highly skilled service engineers, capable of working on a wide range of sheet metal and fabrication machinery. We have a large variety of spare parts, for a wide range of machinery, and are still supplying parts for machines that are some 40 years old. 

Whether its spares parts for your own maintenance or a full service, we’re here to help. 

7) Watch for Wear and Tear

Due to the inherent nature of press brake operations, components are prone to wear and tear over time. This wear can manifest in the form of damage to the press brake tooling, dies, or even the hydraulic system. To prevent these issues from affecting production, it’s essential to recognise the signs of wear and promptly replace worn parts. We offer a comprehensive range of spare parts compatible with various sheet metal machinery, including parts for machines that are 40 years old. Our inventory includes parts for reputable brands such as Promecam, Elga, Stippit, and Peddinghaus, ensuring longevity and reliability.

8) Alignment Problems

Misalignments are a common culprit for inaccurate bends. By regularly checking and adjusting your press brake’s alignment, you can ensure that your bends are precise and that the machine isn’t straining to overcome misalignment.

9) Electrical Issues

With the increasing presence of technological components in modern press brakes, electrical problems are becoming more common. These can range from minor malfunctions to full-blown failures. Understanding the electric systems in your press brake and having a clear troubleshooting process in place is crucial.

A Maintenance Summary

By prioritising maintenance, you’re not only safeguarding your equipment; you’re also investing in the safety and success of your business. Press brake maintenance is a responsibility, yes, but also an opportunity to uphold the high standards that define the metal fabrication industry. To establish your business firmly in quality and reliability, it’s crucial to dedicate attention and resources to maintaining your press brake.

To learn more about our industry leading machines and our customers’ great feedback on our machinery, check out our use cases.