Bending solutions for manual presses

Hydraulic press with installed bending unit in workshop

When we are talking about our press brake tools please note that it is not only for industrial classic press brake machines. During our work, we had several projects to supply the tools for manual presses, hydraulic presses, or can be named also “garage presses” with power units where with the installation of our tools it was possible to perform the bending.

Standard bending tools for any equipment

Because we use standard clamping tools for the installation it is necessary to have suitable clamps on the press which could be installed directly or through the special modules and units available at the market. For sure with this construction there are a lot of limitations – usually, the daylight is very small to use only small height tools, and the back gauge if it is presented as a stopper for material is completely manually adjustable so it is a solution for the simple bends to make one by one.

But anyway installing the standard tools could bring more “flexibility” – you will be not tied to one supplier and can choose the tooling that you need from the catalog articles. One supply we made in the past was a complete discussion to start from the clamps – the customer made the machine on his own and decided to make it with our clamps to use in the future standard bending tooling system. So at first, he bought from us the clamps to make his construction and then he ordered the tools from us. The advantage of using the standard system and clamps could be the possibility to use the sectional punches and to collect the necessary length so in this case the customer has more possibilities for the bending.

Custom bending solutions

During our browse and forums, we have seen a lot of solutions from house-made welded metal beams with welded top tools and two metal bars in replacement of the bottom tool. We have seen more accurate construction with metal bars on the bottom with screws regulation (not a bad idea) so with the fixation the user can adjust the opening he needs. But for sure for everybody it is necessary to know that using bars instead of classical bending die shoulders will not provide accuracy and the difference in opening will not make any difference on radius shoulders as the normal bending die (to prevent the material scratching for example).

There are several bending units on the market where the top and bottom are already tools – so the top bar is mainly the top tool and the bottom bar is mainly the bending die. It also works but in this case, there is no wear and parts to be replaced, the ending of the lifetime of tooling means the ending of the lifetime of this unit completely.

The thing that should be noted for everybody – the force on the center is okay for the small length, let us say 200-300, maybe 400 mm. Everything more – it is requested the side stroke from both sides to create the parallel upstroke movement. In the case of small lengths, the tools could be installed directly to the hydraulic press, but for bigger lengths, it is necessary to use the bending unit which is offered by the market with side stroke configuration.

Advantage for the better bending

The next advantage of using normal tools for bending is the perfect production process. The tools are completely precisely machined, ground, and hardened to provide a long time of use over the years. Yes, with any hand-made is possible to make several bends but nothing more. Our tools are used in intensive bending jobs and will be valuable even after several years.

Maybe it is not important for people who are planning just small actions but if they already made the investment in a press and bending unit probably they are looking to enlarge their production activities. Small business is very popular in Europe, during the start it is hard to make real big investments in serious production machines but even with a hydraulic press and bending module it is possible to start the bending process and probably it is the most economical solution.

For example, we encountered one customer who told us that he wanted to bend several parts for flying a big aircraft model because these parts are quite expensive on the market and if he will make some for himself and 10-15 for future sale it will compensate all investments in simple press equipment.

It is also sure that everything depends on the precision that which customer wants to achieve. It is hard to control the precise stroke on the hydraulic press but is possible to make the perfect positioning of part and to use the precise bending tools. If it is not necessary and the part is quite simple – it could be with the use of welding bars. We told already it is already done by somebody so why not if it is okay for the user?

Possibilities and prices

In theory, the hydraulic press as well as the press brake is the producer of the force and the complete application depends on the installed tooling. If the hydraulic press can provide the big opening there are a lot of different possibilities – For example, we received the request a week ago for the special tooling to form the louvers with the use of the hydraulic press. We can provide the standard solution we make and supplied already and with the customer together we need to find the complete way to fix it on the machine. The same could be true for other forming and even punching applications.

Even a simple hydraulic press has advantages even against industrial press brakes – you can change the job on it. So today you will bend, tomorrow you will press something, after tomorrow you can form and whatever. People do a lot of different jobs on the press from car repair shops to the complicated processes of elastic forming of metal material.

We checked the prices on the market. We have very little information because it is not our market in general. But with rough calculation – the press with 20 tons could cost 500 EUR and nearly 500 EUR will pay for bending unit with tools. So with approximately 1000 EUR investment, you can start the bending job and it will be not the really “home-made” solution but something with the possibility to make a small series program as well.

By the way – we have all the main models of our clamps and press brake tools so we can assist you from the beginning if you make the construction for yourself – we can provide the CAD files and you will use them inside your drawings and model of the machine. It will help a lot so you can verify the spaces, possible strokes, and your possibilities.