With manufacturing companies and fabrication shops, upgrading equipment can be a daunting task. Even more so, when replacing your old press brake, all of the choices can be overwhelming. Technological advancements have led to a variety of options in the market today, including electric, hybrid, and traditional hydraulic press brakes. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, making it crucial to carefully consider which one best suits your business needs. This blog dives deeper into the comparison between standard electric and hydraulic brakes.

Electric Press Brakes: Efficiency and Precision

Fully electric press brakes, like ours found here, have advantages over their hydraulic counterparts. While not all-inclusive the top three advantages we see are:

  1. Power Efficiency: Electric brakes are known for their energy efficiency. They use approximately half the electrical energy of hydraulic brakes to achieve the same tonnage. Unlike hydraulic brakes, which keep their motors, pumps, and oil running continuously, electric brakes only use the motor during bending operations, resulting in lower overall power consumption.
  2. Cost Savings: With lower energy consumption and reduced maintenance requirements, electric press brakes can lead to significant cost savings over time. They have fewer components that require regular servicing, such as oil changes and filter replacements, resulting in lower maintenance expenses. Additionally, the consistent performance of electric brakes throughout the day minimizes scrap material, further reducing costs.
  3. Speed and Precision: Electric brakes offer faster bending speeds and higher precision compared to hydraulic brakes. They can achieve accuracy levels as low as 0.000079 inches (1 micron), making them ideal for applications requiring tight tolerances. The precise control provided by electric brakes ensures consistent and accurate bending results, improving overall efficiency and quality.

While electric press brakes offer numerous advantages, they also have some downsides that should be considered when making a purchasing decision:

  1. Initial Cost: Electric press brakes tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to hydraulic press brakes. The sophisticated electrical components and precision mechanisms used in electric brakes contribute to their higher price tag. For businesses with budget constraints or those prioritizing initial investment costs, the higher upfront expense of electric press brakes may pose a challenge.
  2. Complexity of Maintenance: While electric brakes generally have lower maintenance requirements than hydraulic counterparts, the maintenance tasks they do require can be more complex. Electric brakes rely on intricate electrical and electronic components, which may necessitate specialized training or expertise for maintenance and repairs. Businesses without access to skilled technicians or adequate training resources may find it challenging to maintain electric press brakes effectively.
  3. Limited Power for Heavy-Duty Applications: Electric press brakes may have limitations when it comes to handling heavy-duty or high-tonnage bending tasks. While advancements in electric press brake technology have expanded their capabilities, hydraulic press brakes still typically offer higher force outputs and greater tonnage capacities. For industries or applications that regularly require bending thick or tough materials at high forces, electric press brakes may not always provide the necessary power and may be less suitable for these specific applications.

Quick Highlights

Hydraulic Press Brakes: Power and Reliability

While electric press brakes have their advantages, hydraulic press brakes also offer benefits that make them a great option for applications.

  1. Power and Approach Speed: Hydraulic brakes are known for their power and faster approach speeds. The hydraulic system provides high force output, allowing for efficient bending of thick and tough materials. The fast approach speed of hydraulic brakes enables quick positioning of the ram, reducing cycle times and increasing productivity.
  2. Durability and Reliability: Hydraulic press brakes are renowned for their durability and reliability. The hydraulic system is robust and able to withstand heavy-duty operations over extended periods. With fewer electrical components, hydraulic brakes are less susceptible to electrical failures and can operate in harsh environments with minimal maintenance requirements.
  3. Flexibility: Hydraulic brakes offer greater flexibility in terms of tonnage and stroke length. They can accommodate a wide range of bending applications, from small precision parts to large and complex structures. The adjustable tonnage and stroke length make hydraulic brakes versatile and adaptable to various production needs.

Hydraulic press brakes have been a staple in fabrication shops for decades, offering power and reliability. However, they also come with their own set of drawbacks that may influence a purchasing decision:

  1. Energy Consumption: Hydraulic press brakes consume more energy compared to their electric counterparts. The continuous operation of hydraulic pumps, even when the machine is idle, contributes to higher energy consumption. This ongoing energy usage can lead to increased operational costs over time, particularly in facilities with high production volumes or long idle periods.
  2. Maintenance Requirements: Hydraulic brakes require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Tasks such as oil changes, filter replacements, and seal inspections are essential to prevent leaks and maintain hydraulic system integrity.
  3. Inconsistent Bending Angles: Hydraulic press brakes can experience variations in bending angles throughout the day due to factors such as oil temperature fluctuations and viscosity changes. These inconsistencies may require operators to make frequent adjustments or compensate for deviations in bending accuracy, leading to increased setup time and potential scrap material. Achieving consistent bending angles with hydraulic press brakes may require additional measures, such as temperature control systems or operator skill refinement.

Quick Highlights

The Advantage of Hybrid Motors

Hybrid press brakes combine the benefits of both electric and hydraulic systems. They use servo-electric drives to control the flow to the cylinders, resulting in improved energy efficiency. While not as fast as hydraulic machines in approach or retraction speed, hybrids offer a middle ground between the two types and can achieve accuracy levels of up to 4 microns. Our offerings utilize the newest technology in servo-driven hybrid press brakes to give you the best of both worlds! We also offer heavy-duty brakes particularly suited for high-tonnage tasks.

Conclusion

At Moore Machine Tools, we understand the importance of choosing the right press brake for your fabrication needs. That’s why we offer a comprehensive range of options, including both electric and hybrid models. We ensure that you have access to top-quality press brakes designed to enhance productivity and efficiency in your operations.

For more information on our press brakes and other products, please reach out to us or explore our machines.

Note: For detailed specifications and pricing, please contact our team.