Press brakes, like those from Accurl and Nukon, are workhorse machines in the metal fabrication industry. These brakes offer precision in shaping and bending different metals. However, no matter how much they have improved, press brakes aren’t completely immune to issues that harm their functionality. Here, we’ll delve into 30 common bending problems encountered with press brakes and their viable solutions.

1. Uneven Bending

Problem: Inconsistent angles or curves in the bend.

Solution: Check and adjust the tooling, ensure proper material alignment, and verify the machine’s alignment.

2. Springback

Problem: After bending, the material returns partially to its original form.

Solution: Increase the bend angle slightly or use a smaller inside bend radius. Heat treatment or employing materials with higher elasticity can also mitigate springback.

3. Over-bending or Under-bending

Problem: The bend is beyond or falls short of the desired angle.

Solution: Calibrate the machine for accurate angles. Check tooling and material thickness for proper settings.

4. Cracking

Problem: The material develops cracks during or after bending.

Solution: Ensure material is appropriate for bending and within its recommended tensile strength. Adjust tooling and use proper lubrication to prevent stress concentration.

5. Surface Imperfections

Problem: Scratches, dents, or marks on the material surface post-bending.

Solution: Employ softer tooling or protective layers on tooling surfaces. Clean tooling regularly and inspect for damage.

6. Wrinkling or Folding

Problem: Undesired folds or wrinkles in the material during bending.

Solution: Adjust the punch and die clearance, use suitable tooling, and ensure proper material support to prevent deformation.

7. Back Gauge Inaccuracy

Problem: Inconsistent positioning of the material against the back gauge.

Solution: Calibrate and maintain the back gauge regularly. Verify sensors and mechanical components for accuracy.

8. Angular Variation

Problem: Variation in angle across a single workpiece or between workpieces.

Solution: Check tooling condition and alignment. Ensure consistent material placement and clamping.

9. Tooling Misalignment

Problem: Misaligned upper and lower tooling affecting the bend precision.

Solution: Inspect and adjust tooling alignment regularly. Replace worn or damaged tooling.

10. Material Slippage

Problem: The material slips during bending, causing misalignment.

Solution: Enhance clamping mechanisms or use anti-slip coatings on the tooling. Adjust back gauge positioning for better material support.

11. Edge Rounding

Problem: Material edges become rounded or deformed during bending.

Solution: Use suitable tooling with precise edge profiles. Adjust the clearance to prevent excessive deformation.

12. Die Marks

Problem: Visible marks or impressions from the die on the material surface.

Solution: Polish or replace the die to eliminate imperfections. Adjust tooling clearance for smoother bending.

13. Flange Width Variation

Problem: Inconsistent width of flanges in bent parts.

Solution: Ensure proper tooling setup and alignment. Adjust the back gauge for accurate material positioning.

14. Angular Deviation

Problem: Deviation from the desired angle in the bent part.

Solution: Check machine calibration, tooling condition, and material positioning for accuracy.

15. Excessive Noise

Problem: Unusual or loud noises during the bending process.

Solution: Inspect machine components for damage or wear. Lubricate moving parts and address any loose connections.

16. Tool Wear

Problem: Worn-out tooling affecting bend quality.

Solution: Regularly inspect and replace worn tooling. Use high-quality materials and maintain proper maintenance practices.

17. Tool Sticking

Problem: Tooling sticks to the material surface, causing drag.

Solution: Apply appropriate lubrication to reduce friction. Adjust tooling clearance for smoother movement.

18. Angle Repeatability Issues

Problem: Inability to consistently reproduce the desired bend angle.

Solution: Calibrate machine settings and regularly maintain tooling for accuracy.

19. Material Deformation

Problem: Excessive material deformation or thinning in the bend area.

Solution: Adjust bending parameters to reduce stress concentration. Ensure suitable tooling and material thickness.

20. Hardening or Softening

Problem: Material hardens or softens during bending, affecting subsequent processes.

Solution: Control bending speed and temperature. Employ heat treatment if necessary.

21. Oil Stains

Problem: Oil marks or stains on the material surface after bending.

Solution: Clean and maintain the machine regularly. Use appropriate lubricants and ensure proper application.

22. Bowing or Twisting

Problem: Material exhibits bowing or twisting post-bending.

Solution: Check material alignment and support during bending. Adjust tooling and back gauge settings.

23. Hydraulic Issues

Problem: Hydraulic system malfunctions affecting bending operations.

Solution: Regularly inspect and maintain the hydraulic system. Replace worn components and ensure proper fluid levels.

24. Electrical Problems

Problem: Electrical faults or interruptions during operation.

Solution: Inspect electrical connections, circuits, and controls. Address any issues promptly and conduct regular maintenance.

25. Material Springiness

Problem: Material tends to bounce back excessively after bending.

Solution: Adjust bending parameters or use a different material with less spring.

26. Excessive Scrap

Problem: High wastage due to imperfect bends or defects.

Solution: Implement better quality control measures. Optimize tooling and machine settings for reduced scrap.

27. Bending Length Inaccuracy

Problem: Variation in the length of the bent section.

Solution: Verify machine settings and tooling alignment. Ensure proper material positioning and support.

28. Tool Chipping or Breakage

Problem: Tooling experiences chipping or breakage during bending.

Solution: Use high-quality tooling appropriate for the material. Inspect and replace worn or damaged tools promptly.

29. Material Jams

Problem: Material gets jammed in the machine during bending.

Solution: Check for obstructions or misalignment in the tooling. Adjust settings for smoother material flow.

30. Die Deflection

Problem: Die experiences bending or deformation during use.

Solution: Use sturdy, high-quality dies. Inspect regularly for wear and replace when necessary.

Mastering press brake troubleshooting involves an understanding of machine mechanics, material properties, and precision adjustments. Regular maintenance, proper training, and attention to detail are crucial in mitigating and resolving these common bending problems. Remember, a well-maintained press brake is the cornerstone of efficient and high-quality metal fabrication. We at Moore Machine Tools offer a wide variety of service contracts to ensure your press brakes remain operational in any productional environment. Contact us today to get on our books before the end of the year.