The need to create precise and complex forms efficiently is one of the major challenges for a metal fabricator. There are many new technologies in the metal forming market that improve performance, but the basic methods behind them remain the same. Through press braking, the process of metal manufacturing comes alive. IMH Products has the tools and machinery to meet the needs of its customers with several options for press braking.

The Aspects of Press Braking

The press braking process is not as simple as putting a sheet of metal into a press brake and pushing down on it. It is one of the oldest methods of metal forming and dates back to the 1,500s when the first press brakes were described as an instrument for crushing or pounding. There were limits to this technology at the time, they were mostly manual and relied on the brute strength of the individual operating the brake.

That is no longer the case today. At IMH Products we have press brakes that operate up to 1,000 tons of pressure. That is more than 2.23 million pounds per square inch of pressure, more than enough to bend a piece of steel up to one in thick. Hydraulic pressure is used to create these enormous pressures, and they can be operated via two types of controls: Numeric Controlled (NC) or Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC). An NC machine is more basic, while a CNC machine uses computer coded instructions for more refined pieces. Hydraulic brakes produce high quality products, are reliable, use little energy, and provide a high level of accuracy. They are also safer because, unlike flywheel-driven presses, the motion of the ram can be easily stopped at any time in response to a safety device.

Tool & Die Designs for Press Brakes

Aside from the amount of pressure, the correct die design is the next critical aspect of press brakes. Press brakes use a wide variety of dies to produce hundreds of different shapes and folds. The metal sheet is positioned between an upper and lower die before the press is dropped. The upper die has different angles, while the lower die is generally V-shaped or U-shaped. There are many characteristics that affect the bending:

  • The tensile strength of materials
  • Strength of toolings
  • Back gauge distance
  • Speed
  • Bending radius
  • Tonnage

All of these factors affect the spring back of the sheet metal and the accuracy of the final profile. Although many press brakes can only be used with small and short workpieces, the operation of them is more convenient.  It is as simple as replacing the upper and lower die to create a new shape and profile. Compared to roll forming, this means lower costs and higher efficiency.

Press braking is often merely the first step in the process of manufacturing. It prepares certain parts for further assembly and finishing down the line. It cannot create products with complex functions and the length of the press brake limits the process.

At IMH Products we have 20 press brakes across our three facilities and on site tool and die shops with he capability to create the unique die sets you need for your products. For more information on how we can assist you reach out to us at