Replacement of obsolete machinery is an indispensable part of the manufacturing industry. It is important too, because the market requirements change, which calls for more efficient equipment. Additionally, efficiency drives profitability, so the requirement for new machines is inevitable.
However, buying an appropriate replacement requires patience, research, and information. If you replace your old press brakes with inefficient new ones, your business running cost will be through the roof. Hence, careful deliberation is required. If you are in the market for new press brakes, you will find three basic types: Hydraulic, Hybrid, and Traditional. Each of these types has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Eventually, everything will boil down to what kind of parts you need to produce and what are your immediate requirements. In this article, we will draw a comparison between a hydraulic and electronic press brake machine to make your life easier.
Power consumption is an important line of difference because it can help you bring down the product manufacturing cost exponentially. Therefore, one of the main concerns of the press brake operators is the power consumption of electric brakes and hydraulic press brakes.
While it’s true that electric press brakes require twice as much power for the same tonnage when running as hydraulic brakes, it doesn’t mean they are inefficient. The major selling point here is that electronic press brakes turn their motor off when they are not in use, which ultimately saves a lot of energy.
Hydraulic press brakes, on the other hand, keep the motor running even when they are sitting idle. Hence, hydraulic press brakes end up consuming more energy. Therefore, if power consumption is your main concern, you can go for electronic press brakes.
Maintenance and cost
Hydraulic press brake technology is the traditional one, so inefficiencies are bound to surface. The maintenance cost of a hydraulic press brake is quite high because of the oil and filter change, leak fixes, seal fixtures, etc.
Additionally, different parts require different viscosity of oil, which means that frequent oil change is inevitable. Moreover, an oil change would mean that a bending test would be required. More number of bending tests means that more scrap would be produced. Additionally, the gear pump will keep running while the oil changes, which makes the part production expensive. Therefore, it is safe to say that the maintenance cost of hydraulic brakes is higher than that of electronic press brakes.
Bending speed is an important factor to note if we want to ensure efficiency. Hydraulic press brakes boast very high approach speed, but their ram acceleration and deceleration are quite low because they are oil powered. Hence, they take time to get back to their original position. Electronic press brakes, on the other hand, have a lower approach speed, but ram acceleration and deceleration are high. Therefore, they produce more output in the given time.
If you are looking to reduce your plant’s carbon footprint, hydraulic press brakes might not be a good fit for you. We have discussed earlier that the hydraulic motor keeps running even when the machine is sitting idle. This means that it burns more energy and causes more pollution compared to electronic brakes. Additionally, noise pollution is a growing concern, and hydraulic press brakes are a contributing factor.
The gear pump makes a lot of noise during bender, which can adversely affect the worker’s health. Electronic pumps, on the other hand, are way quieter and do not produce too much noise. Lastly, there is a risk of oil spills associated with hydraulic pumps, which can affect the local community.
Based on our findings above, it is safe to say that hydraulic pumps are not the right fit for the contemporary world. Hydraulic press brakes are bad for the environment, and they consume a lot of power too.
If you are looking for better accuracy and speed, electronic press brakes would be best for you. But if you are not willing to spend extravagantly, you can opt for a hybrid press brake, which strikes a perfect balance between electronic and hydraulic press brakes.