Press brakes and CNC folders may seem quite similar but they both have their specialities.
Take a closer look at what they do to help you decide which one would best suit you and your bending production.
There are different varieties of press brakes which depend on different means of applying force to a large, heavy ram: hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic or servo-electric. There is also a wide range of dies that are used to determine the bending angle, the V-die being the most common, in addition to the power and tonnage of the ram.
One of the main features that sets press brakes apart from other folding machinery is its power. With the varying amount of force, they can handle a wide range of material thicknesses whilst maintaining precision and accuracy. Also, they are able to easily swap tooling out for different tooling tasks which makes them incredibly versatile.
However, even though they can be considered as a multipurpose bending machine, press brakes usually require two operators and take longer to achieve the accuracy of intricate detailing on large sheets. As well as this, big and thin sheets of metal are quite difficult to handle when using a press brake.
CNC folders work very differently from press brakes; instead of a ram and die, they clamp the sheet metal between an upper bar, then a beam swigs upwards which folds the material along the length of the bar.
They use a lot less force than press brakes which means that they can be used for thinner sheets of metal. As they are more delicate, they are better for bending polished and coated materials, and for creating items where precision and appearance is priority. CNC folders are able to be operated by just one person and are faster and more efficient for higher volumes of metal bending.
Unfortunately, even though they can handle high-volume work, they cannot tackle multiple varieties of bending or any thick material. Also, they can be considered as quite costly compared to their bending capabilities.
We would advise that your decision about whether you should invest in a press brake or CNC folder should depend on what kind of materials you will be using in your manufacturing and the thickness of them.