The brake press, also known as press brakes are very useful shaping sheet metal. Typically they work with a table below which holds the die and a moveable beam above where the punch is located. There are several types of brake presses available and they are described by the types of force applied in the process.
Mechanical Press – A clutch is used along with a flywheel to operate a crank. Mechanical presses are known for their speed and accuracy.
Hydraulic Press – Uses two hydraulic cylinders located on the sides of the press. They move the upper beam.
Servo-electric Press – Exerts force by driving a belt drive or ballscrew with a servo-motor (a motor with encoders to provide accurate positioning and speed).
Pneumatic Press – Uses air pressure to provide force.
Mechanical presses have long been the dominant type in the world of machining. But since the 1950s, hydraulic presses have become the most popular as a result of advances in hydraulic and computer technologies. Now, hydraulic presses are known to be very reliable and accurate. They are also considered a safe option because the ram’s motion can be stopped much easier than that of flywheel-driven mechanical presses. Servo-electric and pneumatic presses are ideal for processes requiring lower amounts of force (tonnage).