Checklist for Each Press Brake Operator

by Gary Fain

A press brake is a machine that is majorly used to bend metal sheets into many different forms and shapes. Some press brake operators always work on the trial and error technique to make their work a success, while others attended training courses and received their certifications, making them press brake operator professionals. However, with or without the training, metal sheet bending needs the operator to understand several essential things that play an important role in their job. Here is what they should know:

The operator’s role

Any operator who wants to remain outstanding should always focus on honing and boosting their craft by getting additional techniques or training to their work and implementing the new technologies emerging in the market, such as the cnc press brake. It would be more helpful if they understood the entire process of fabrication from the beginning to the last step of finishing. Among the things they should master are; setting up the machine, the required fabrication time, machine capabilities and the tendency to meet the job specifications.

The press brake machine

There are many various press brake machines in the industry today; each one has different capabilities and disadvantages that a press brake operator should understand; moreover, they all require different maintenance. In their daily work, they can encounter the following machines; hydraulic retrofitted CNC, full CNC press brakes, and mechanical; all three machines require different setups to deliver different results from their operations.

Therefore, the operators need to understand all the basics needed to work with the three machines, such as the load limit and setup times. However, most operators receive training on only one machine, but it is important to learn about more as you interact with them.


Tooling is the primary thing that enables a press brake operator make quality parts, there are various types of bending done on metal sheets such as coining, air bending, bottom bending, among many others, and each one of these requires different tooling. For well-trained and expert operators, you should master the different tooling types and tolerance for every sheet metal used.


Drawings are among the important information needed to make the bending processes a success; an experienced or exceptional operator should maintain drawings such as; bend angle, inside bend radius, part dimensions and the appropriate tolerance for each sheet metal piece. The specifications under the drawings section are meant to be laid down during tooling as they consider the press brake capabilities and the type of tooling meant to be used in the given process. With the right mastering of correct drawing, you will already sketch what your final thing will look like.

If you are searching for a good press brake operator to work on your commercial or any project that needs metal bending, consider finding out whether they understand the primary things. A press brake operator needs to have the key essential at your fingertips and keep updating them as you embrace any technology in your market.

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