Skilled Operators: The Secret to High-Quality Press Brake Forming

April 25, 2024

Press brake forming is a fundamental fabrication process in any sheet metal shop. Forming metal with high precision is required for manufacturing many parts, from electrical enclosures to cash sorting equipment. 

All Metals Fabricating stands out among Texas sheet metal fabrication shops for our superior metal bending services. We can achieve anything from simple 90-degree bends to complex sequences with multiple bends and extreme tolerances. 

Our press brakes are versatile machines equipped with advanced CNC and back-gauge controls. These machines can handle sheet sizes up to 144” in length and bend material ranging from 26 gauge to 0.25” thick, depending on tonnage requirements. 

But our main differentiator isn’t our machines—it’s the employees who operate them.

AMF’s Sheet Metal Forming Capabilities

Press brake forming might seem straightforward, but there are complicated mathematical calculations and measurements involved in the setup. Only a highly skilled operator can calculate the proper bend deductions, anticipate the amount a material “stretches” during bending, and maintain tolerances—all crucial for high-quality output.  

In the sheet metal industry, it’s common for shops to invest in state-of-the-art press brakes but employ just one or two specialists to set up these advanced machines. The rest of the team operates the press brake without necessarily understanding the complex setup process.

AMF has a unique approach that involves employing operators skilled in both setup and operation. Our entire press brake team can perform complex calculations to set up the machine. This knowledge allows them to meet the most stringent part requirements while operating the press brake. 

Did we mention our press brake operators have extensive experience? The average tenure on our press brake team is 25 years!

How Customers Benefit

Skilled operators truly make a world of difference in sheet metal forming. Understanding the calculations that go into press brake setup minimizes mistakes during forming, increases part quality, reduces waste, and guarantees optimal efficiency.

Achieving precision during sheet metal forming directly impacts the efficiency of subsequent processes. Tighter bends are significantly easier to weld because a smaller bead is needed, which reduces welding and grinding time. Consistently accurate bends streamline assembly because the parts fit together well.

Having multiple skilled operators on our team also helps reduce risk for customers because we aren’t dependent on one or two people to set up our machines. If an operator calls out sick, another can easily step in, helping to keep projects on schedule. 

Forming a small, complex part

We recently fabricated a Fujitsu faceplate for a telecommunications equipment rack. The part required 10 bends using a complex technique called “joggle forming,” where sheet metal is clamped between two dies—U-shaped on top and flat on the bottom. Pressure is applied to create multiple bends simultaneously.

Precision was essential to create this part. The joggle forming process has highly precise angles, and the part had tight tolerances within 0.010” across multiple bends, the joggles and welding. Our skilled operators formed this complex part efficiently and accurately, whereas most shops would have not quoted it and said it was not manufacturable within those tolerances. 

Superior Sheet Metal Forming at AMF

Our customers see the benefits of our skilled press brake operators firsthand. Our efficient manufacturing process eliminates unnecessary labor and material costs, and order delays are few and far between.

But this isn’t the norm for every shop. It’s important to remember that just because a capability is fundamental to the industry doesn’t mean every shop can guarantee the same level of quality. 

At AMF, we don’t hire button-pushers—we seek out hard-working, technically proficient employees who go above and beyond for customers. When you work with us, you benefit from a highly skilled team operating top-of-the-line equipment. 

Request a quote for your forming and bending needs.