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Press Brake Calibration: Enhance Accuracy and Productivity

press brake back gauge calibration

Press brakes are important tools for shaping and bending metal sheets. They are well-known for the accuracy and precision they bring to the table. But what’s the secret recipe for this preciseness?

Press brake calibration is the answer. It is the process of making sure that the machine can accurately bend materials to the shapes and angles you need. But how to calibrate a press brake?

In this article, we will go through every nook and cranny of the calibration process. We will also discuss why it’s so important to calibrate the press brake before any bending work. Keep reading to explore more.

Press Brake Calibration Steps

How well the press brake is calibrated can make or break your whole bending process. A miscalibrated machine can produce uneven products that can kill valuable time through rework.

Don’t get intimidated here. Just follow the following steps, and you will be good to go.

  • Collect the Required Tool

First, you should get some tools ready. Tools like press brake tooling, calipers or micrometers, precision angle finders, and materials for testing bending are some examples.

  • Check the Specification

Get information about the press brakes’ specs, like tonnage, bending length, and punch speed, from the manufacturing menu or files. Verify that these requirements can meet your needs for certain tasks.

  • Clean the Machine

Calibration will not be as accurate if the machine gets dirty. So, keep it clean and guarantee there is no dirt, dust, or debris.

Carefully examine the press brake’s bedding, ram, and back gauge. That’s because these are the parts most likely to touch metal sheets. Besides, make sure that all of the safety and security equipment is where it should be and it works properly.

  • Checking

press brake calibration

There are three types of checking processes that you will have to conduct at this stage of the calibration.

  1. Checking the machine: Check the device for damage, spoilage, or wear because it can affect press brake accuracy. Replace any broken parts before continuous calibration. Additionally, make sure that the hydraulic system, the electrical connection, and the controller all work correctly.
  2. Check the punch and die: Look at the punch and die for any strange issues (e.g., noise). If there are any problems with any of the components, please replace them so that the bending is done correctly.
  3. Check the oil level: Assess the oil level in the hydraulic system. Low oil levels will make the machine work badly. The bending results will be poor in that case. So, ensure the oil is enough to run the machine before each use.
  • Testing

This is the last step before the actual calibration. Use the sample bending on waste material to test the press brake.

  • Bending check: To find the final bending angle made by bending a metal sheet, use a reliable protractor or angle gauge. The bending tools should be adjusted to the right angle if the result is wrong.
  • Distortion check: After you bend something, check to see if the press brake moves. Abnormal deflection will affect the accuracy of the bending. If necessary, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions to keep deflection to a minimum.
  • Calibration

It is time to set up the machine for calibration. This includes setting up the clamps, back gauge, and bending tool.

  • Back Gauge Calibration

To bend metal just right, you must tweak the back gauge settings behind the scenes. Here’s what to do:

  • Kick things off by shutting down the machine and getting your safety gear on, like gloves and glasses.
  • Pull the gauge’s back endpoint all the way out so it’s easy to get your metal and tools to their location.
  • Choose a specific spot on that back gauge to measure. This could be the spot where it pulls back the most or some fixed spot from the bending point.
  • Use exact measuring-related tools (think extremely accurate rulers) to find out and note down how far that point is.
  • Look at the number the machine throws at you for that spot. If that number is different from what you measured, you go into the computer control bit and tinker with it to match up.
  • When you think you’ve got it right, measure at that special spot again, and both numbers—the one you measure and the one the machine tells you—should be twins.
  • Wrap it by checking distances over the whole pull and push territory. You need to double-check that the number that appeared is what you’ve got on your measuring tool for each instance.
  • Set the Clamp and Bending Tool

The clamp holds the metal sheet in place correctly. Make sure it’s in the correct location. Verify the bending tool is at the right angle to make the bend you need.

  • Check Ram Parallelism

Ram parallelism means that the ram is straight across from the bending surface, which could be the press brake’s bed or a workbench. Measure correctly and make changes with the parallelism meter.

  • Crowning

Crowning is the curved line on the bed that straightens out the metal sheet pressure that causes it to bend. Simply move the bedding oil cylinder until it forms the right curved line to adjust the crowning.

  • Operate the Complete Testing Run

Run the whole testing program on the press brake using different thicknesses of material and angles of bend. Check the accuracy and repeatability by comparing the measured result to what was expected.

  • Keep Calibration Records

Keep thorough records of the calibration process, including any changes you make and the final settings you end up with. The file is very useful for troubleshooting and future reference.

  • Maintenance Regularly

The press brake will work at its best if it gets regular maintenance. Routinely checking and calibrating the machine is meant to keep it working correctly and safely.

how to calibrate a press brake

The Importance of Press Brake Calibration

Calibration of the press brake is very important because it has a direct effect on the safety, accuracy, and quality of the metal bending. Here’s how:

  • Consistency

Calibration of the press brake can make sure that the machine can bend the metal sheet at a precise and steady angle. Making even parts is possible with accurate bending. As a result, there will be fewer waste parts and fewer changes to the final product.

  • Cost Savings

A calibrated press brake can cut down on the waste of material because it only makes a few broken parts. Aside from that, accurate bending can cut down on the need for rework, which saves time and money.

  • Safety

A well-calibrated press brake lessens the probability of accidents to a great extent. However, an uncalibrated or miscalibrated press brake can make the tools move unexpectedly during the measurement process. This can turn out to be threatening for the operator.


Q. How Often Should I Calibrate the Press Brake?

Ans. Usually, you should calibrate the press brake once a year. If you want to keep mass productivity accurate, you may need to calibrate it often.

Q. Why Is Back Gauge Calibration Important?

Ans. It is possible for mistakes to happen during the bending process if the back gauge has not been calibrated. For example, parts that are not within tolerance or inconsistent angles may occur. You might waste materials, end up with scrap, or have to pay a lot to fix these mistakes.

Q. How Long Does It Usually Take for a Press Brake to Be Calibrated?

Ans. Usually, the whole process of calibration can take anywhere from a few hours to a whole day. The specifics depend on how big and how well the machine is working.


The calibration of a press brake is the result of a combination of some well-calculated steps. It starts with compiling the necessary equipment. Then comes checking the specs and cleaning the machine thoroughly.

Before the actual calibration, you might need to test the bend and distortion. And during the main process, back gauge calibration turns out to be very important to avoid unnecessary rework. This whole process not only ensures safety but also increases cost-effectiveness. However, you will need to get a top-quality press brake before anything else.

Fab-Line Machinery can help you get rid of this worry. Our range of hydraulic and electric press brakes is sure to pass the test of time. You can focus on the calibration without thinking about the quality of the materials if you purchase the right press brake from us. Contact us today and let us help you.

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