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Popular Press Brake Accessories: Enhancing Efficiency and Safety

November 3, 2023

When it comes to press brakes, having the right accessories can make all the difference in achieving optimal performance and efficiency. In this article, I’ll be discussing some of the most popular press brake accessories on the market today. From specialized tooling to advanced bending aids, these accessories are designed to enhance productivity and accuracy in metal fabrication processes. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, understanding the benefits of these accessories can help you take your press brake operations to the next level.

One essential press brake accessory that shouldn’t be overlooked is high-quality tooling. The right tooling can significantly impact the quality and precision of your bends. From V-dies to punches, there are various types of tooling available to suit different bending applications. Investing in durable and properly matched tooling not only ensures consistent results but also reduces the risk of material damage or costly mistakes. In this article, I’ll explore some of the top tooling options that can help you achieve accurate and repeatable bends every time.

In addition to tooling, there are several advanced bending aids that can greatly enhance the efficiency of your press brake operations. These accessories are designed to streamline the bending process, reduce setup times, and improve overall productivity. From automatic crowning systems to laser angle measurement devices, these bending aids offer innovative solutions to common challenges faced in metal fabrication. In the following paragraphs, I’ll delve into some of the most popular bending aids available and discuss how they can revolutionize your press brake workflow.

Types of Press Brake Accessories

There are various types of press brake accessories available in the market that can enhance the performance and efficiency of your press brake machine. These accessories are designed to provide greater flexibility, accuracy, and productivity in the bending process. Here are some popular press brake accessories:

  1. V-Dies and Punches: V-Dies are specially shaped tools that are used to create different types of bends in metal sheets. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, allowing for precise and consistent bends. Punches, on the other hand, are used to create holes or notches in the metal sheets. Investing in high-quality V-Dies and punches can greatly improve the quality and accuracy of your bends.
  2. Automatic Crowning Systems: Press brakes with automatic crowning systems are equipped with sensors that continuously monitor and adjust the position of the upper tooling to ensure a consistent bend angle across the entire length of the sheet. This eliminates the need for manual adjustments and reduces the risk of inconsistencies in the bending process. Automatic crowning systems can significantly improve productivity and reduce setup time.
  3. Laser Angle Measurement Devices: These devices use laser technology to accurately measure the angle of the bend in real-time. By providing precise measurements, laser angle measurement devices help operators achieve the desired bend angle with greater accuracy. This reduces the need for trial and error and minimizes material waste.
  4. Safety Devices: Safety should always be a priority in any press brake operation. Investing in safety devices such as light curtains, safety mats, and two-hand controls can help prevent accidents and injuries. These devices are designed to detect the presence of operators in the danger zone and automatically stop the machine if necessary.

By understanding the different types of press brake accessories available, you can choose the ones that best suit your specific needs and requirements. Investing in high-quality accessories can enhance the performance, accuracy, and safety of your press brake machine, ultimately improving your overall productivity and efficiency.

1. Backgauges

Backgauges are an essential accessory for press brakes that help ensure accurate and consistent bending. They provide precise positioning and control of the material, allowing for repeatable bends. Backgauges can be manual or automated, depending on the level of precision and productivity required.

Benefits of using backgauges:

  • Improved accuracy: Backgauges eliminate guesswork and human error by precisely positioning the material for each bend, resulting in consistent and accurate angles.
  • Increased productivity: With backgauges, operators can set up and execute bends quickly, reducing downtime and increasing overall productivity.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Backgauges eliminate the need for manual measuring and marking, saving time and effort.
  • Versatility: Backgauges can be customized to accommodate different bending requirements, such as multiple bends or complex shapes.

Types of backgauges:

  • Manual backgauges: These are manually adjusted using a hand crank or lever. They are cost-effective and suitable for less complex bending operations.
  • CNC backgauges: These are controlled by a computer numerical control (CNC) system, allowing for precise and automated positioning. CNC backgauges are ideal for high-volume production and complex bending operations.
  • Automatic backgauges: These advanced backgauges can be programmed to perform multiple bends automatically, reducing operator intervention and increasing efficiency.

Backgauges are crucial accessories for press brakes that improve accuracy, increase productivity, and enhance efficiency. Whether it’s a manual, CNC, or automatic backgauge, investing in this accessory can take press brake operations to the next level.

2. Safety Devices

When it comes to operating press brakes, safety should always be a top priority. Investing in the right safety devices can help prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. Here are some popular safety accessories that every press brake operator should consider:

  1. Light curtains: Light curtains are an essential safety feature that uses infrared beams to detect when a person’s hand or body enters the danger zone of the press brake. They instantly stop the machine from operating, minimizing the risk of any accidents.
  2. Safety mats: Safety mats are pressure-sensitive mats that are placed on the floor around the press brake. When someone steps on the mat, it sends a signal to the machine to stop immediately. Safety mats provide an additional layer of protection, especially in cases where the operator may need to be in close proximity to the machine.
  3. Two-hand controls: Two-hand controls require the operator to use both hands simultaneously to activate the press brake. This ensures that the operator’s hands are clear of the danger zone before the machine starts bending the material. Two-hand controls are an effective way to prevent accidental activation of the press brake.
  4. Emergency stop buttons: Emergency stop buttons are strategically placed near the press brake and can be easily accessed by the operator in case of an emergency. When pressed, these buttons immediately halt the machine, allowing the operator to quickly stop the bending process if necessary.

By incorporating these safety devices into your press brake setup, you can create a safer working environment for your operators and minimize the risk of accidents. Remember, safety should never be compromised, and investing in the right safety accessories is a crucial step in ensuring a safe and productive workplace.

3. Tooling Systems

When it comes to press brakes, having the right tooling systems is essential for achieving accurate and efficient bending operations. These systems consist of a variety of components that work together to shape and form the metal sheets. Here are a few key points to consider when it comes to tooling systems:

Different Types of Tooling

There are various types of tooling systems available for press brakes, each designed for specific bending applications. Some common types include:

  • V-Dies: These are used to create different bend angles and shapes. They come in a range of sizes and can be customized to meet specific requirements.
  • Punches: Used to create holes, slots, or special forms in the metal sheets. They are available in different sizes and shapes.
  • Hemming Tools: These tools are used to create hems or flanges on the edges of the metal sheets, providing a clean and finished look.

Factors to Consider

When selecting tooling systems for your press brake, there are several factors to consider. These include:

  • Material Type and Thickness: Different materials and thicknesses require specific tooling configurations to achieve the desired results.
  • Bend Length and Angle: The length and angle of the bend will determine the type and size of tooling needed.
  • Production Volume: If you have high production volumes, you may need multiple sets of tooling to ensure uninterrupted workflow.

Benefits of Using the Right Tooling

Using the right tooling systems can offer several benefits, including:

  • Increased Efficiency: Proper tooling ensures precise and consistent bending, reducing the need for rework and increasing overall productivity.
  • Improved Quality: The right tooling helps achieve accurate bends and shapes, resulting in high-quality finished products.
  • Enhanced Safety: Well-maintained tooling systems reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by preventing material slippage or misalignment.

By investing in the right tooling systems for your press brake, you can optimize your bending operations and achieve superior results. Remember to regularly inspect and maintain your tooling to ensure its longevity and performance. With the right tooling in place, you can effectively meet the demands of your customers and stay ahead in the competitive market.

4. Crowning Systems

Crowning systems are essential accessories for press brakes that help to achieve accurate and uniform bending across the entire length of the workpiece. These systems are particularly useful when dealing with long and narrow materials or when working with high-strength materials that are prone to springback.

Here are a few key points about crowning systems:

  • What are crowning systems? Crowning systems consist of a series of adjustable hydraulic or mechanical devices that are located along the bed of the press brake. These devices apply pressure to specific points on the bed, compensating for any deflection that may occur during the bending process. By adjusting the pressure at different points, crowning systems ensure that the workpiece remains flat and uniform throughout the bending operation.
  • Why are crowning systems important? Press brakes without crowning systems may experience deflection, causing uneven bending and poor quality results. This can lead to rework, wasted materials, and decreased productivity. Crowning systems help to eliminate deflection, ensuring consistent and accurate bending across the entire workpiece. This results in improved product quality, reduced scrap, and increased overall efficiency.
  • Types of crowning systems: There are two main types of crowning systems: hydraulic crowning systems and mechanical crowning systems. Hydraulic crowning systems use hydraulic cylinders to apply pressure at different points along the bed, allowing for precise and automatic adjustments. On the other hand, mechanical crowning systems use mechanical devices, such as wedges or screws, to manually adjust the pressure at specific points.
  • Considerations when choosing a crowning system: When selecting a crowning system for your press brake, it’s important to consider factors such as material type and thickness, bend length, and production volume. Hydraulic crowning systems are typically more expensive but offer greater flexibility and precision. Mechanical crowning systems may be more suitable for smaller operations with less complex bending requirements.

Crowning systems are a crucial accessory for press brakes, ensuring accurate and uniform bending results. By investing in a high-quality crowning system that suits your specific needs, you can achieve consistent and precise bending operations, leading to improved productivity and higher-quality finished products.

5. Sheet Followers

Sheet followers are another popular accessory for press brakes that play a crucial role in ensuring accurate and consistent bending operations. These devices are designed to support the sheet metal as it is being bent, preventing any movement or springback during the bending process.

One of the main benefits of using sheet followers is the elimination of deflection. When a sheet metal is bent, it tends to deflect or spring back due to the applied force. This deflection can lead to inaccuracies in the bend angle and result in poor quality finished products. By using sheet followers, the sheet metal is held securely in place, minimizing deflection and ensuring precise bending.

Another advantage of sheet followers is improved safety. By preventing the sheet metal from moving or bouncing during bending, they reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. This is especially important when working with larger and heavier sheets that can be difficult to handle manually.

Sheet followers are available in various designs and configurations to suit different press brake models and applications. Some sheet followers are integrated into the press brake’s tooling system, while others are separate accessories that can be easily attached and removed as needed.

When selecting sheet followers, it is important to consider the material type and thickness being bent, as well as the length of the bend and the production volume. Choosing the right sheet followers will ensure optimal support and stability for the sheet metal, resulting in accurate and consistent bending operations.

Sheet followers are essential accessories for press brakes that provide support and stability to the sheet metal during bending. By eliminating deflection and improving safety, they contribute to the overall efficiency and quality of the bending process. When selecting sheet followers, it is important to consider the specific requirements of the application to ensure the best results.


In this article, we have explored the importance of safety devices for press brakes, including popular accessories such as light curtains, safety mats, two-hand controls, and emergency stop buttons. We have also discussed the significance of using the right tooling systems for accurate and efficient bending operations, covering different types of tooling systems such as V-Dies, punches, and hemming tools. Considering factors like material type and thickness, bend length and angle, and production volume is crucial when selecting tooling systems. The benefits of using the right tooling systems include increased efficiency, improved quality, and enhanced safety.

Furthermore, we have introduced crowning systems as essential accessories for press brakes, explaining their purpose and benefits. Hydraulic and mechanical crowning systems have been described, along with considerations for choosing the right system based on material type, thickness, bend length, and production volume. Using a high-quality crowning system is highly recommended to achieve accurate and uniform bending results, leading to improved productivity and higher-quality finished products.

Lastly, we have discussed the importance of sheet followers as accessories for press brakes, emphasizing their role in providing support and stability to the sheet metal during bending. Sheet followers help eliminate deflection and improve safety, ensuring accurate and consistent bending operations. When selecting sheet followers, it is essential to consider the specific requirements of the application to ensure optimal results.

By understanding and utilizing these popular press brake accessories, manufacturers can enhance safety, efficiency, and the overall quality of their bending operations.

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