The process of selecting the right press brake for your needs can be overwhelming and confusing. With so many options available in the market, used and new, it's essential to follow a systematic approach to ensure you make the best decision. In this article we outline the 10 crucial steps you need to know in selecting the perfect press brake for your specific requirements without overspending.

Step 1: Assess Your Requirements

Start by evaluating your specific bending needs, such as the type and thickness of materials you will be working with, the desired bending angles, and the volume of production. Look at the parts you are currently manufacturing and those that you may wish to. Also note from the start to use the 80/20 rule. Shoot for a machine that meets 80% of your needs and do not chase a machine to meet 100% otherwise you will be grossly overspending.

Step 2: Consider Machine Capacity

Based on your requirements, determine the necessary tonnage, bending length, throat depth, distance between side frames and stroke length needed for your press brake. This will ensure that the machine can handle the workload efficiently.

Step 3: Understand Machine Types 

Familiarize yourself with the different types of press brakes available, such as hydraulic, mechanical, electric or hybrid. Each type has its own advantages and limitations, so choose the one that aligns with your requirements.

Step 4: Research Manufacturers

Look for reputable manufacturers with a track record of producing high-quality press brakes. Read customer reviews, check certifications, and consider their after-sales support. After all whichever machine you buy will likely be on your floor for many years to come. 

Step 5: Set a Budget

Determine your budget range and find press brake options that fit within that range before consulting with new equipment sales representatives who tend to grossly exaggerate what you really need to fit their offering. Remember to consider long-term costs, including maintenance, training, and potential upgrades.

Step 6: Evaluate Machine Features

Look for features like CNC controls, backgauge systems, tooling options, and safety features. Make sure the press brake offers the necessary functionalities to optimize your bending process, is easily serviceable and reliable.

Step 7: Visit Showrooms or Attend Exhibitions

If possible, visit showrooms or attend exhibitions to see the press brakes in action. This will give you a better understanding of their performance, features and options all while helping you make an informed decision.

Step 8: Seek Expert Advice

Consult with industry experts or experienced operators to get their insights on the press brakes you are considering. They can provide valuable advice and help you avoid potential pitfalls.

Step 9: Request Quotes and Compare

Reach out to multiple suppliers and request detailed quotes for the press brakes you are interested in. Compare the features, pricing, warranties, and delivery timelines to make an educated choice. Consider tooling type as well as tooling can be easily 10-20% of the machine expense.

Step 10: Make the Purchase

Finally, once you have evaluated all the factors and gathered all the necessary information, it's time to make the purchase. Place your order with the manufacturer or supplier that offers the best value for your investment with terms and financing that meet your needs.

By following these 10 steps, you can confidently select the right press brake that meets your specific needs, ensuring a smooth and efficient bending process for your business. At Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales we are press brake experts and can help you navigate your purchase to select the right machine, whether new or used to meet your needs AND budget. 

Press Brakes