Panel Bending Machine: Complete Guide

The Panel bending machine has been around for almost 40 years and has accelerated the development of the sheet metal manufacturing industry. It is labor-saving, fast and able to bend a sheet to a specific angle with precision.
The high investment cost may be a deterrent for many sheet metal fabricators, but the high productivity of the panel bender makes it an ideal choice for many industries.

What is a panel bending machine?

A panel bander is a machine used to bend sheet metal by applying pressure to the sheet through an upper and lower die to bend the metal into a specific geometric shape. The V-angle of the lower die is always adjusted according to the thickness of the sheet.

Types of Panel bending machine

Panel bending machines can be categorized into plate and tube bending machines. For the panel bending machines discussed in this article, we can categorize them into mechanical and hydraulic drive bending machines.

  1. Mechanical bending machine: using a mechanical drive system to allow the machine to operate at high speeds and produce excellent bending accuracy. This is one of the more traditional types of bending machines. It is suitable for simple, repetitive bending tasks on very thin materials.
  2. Hydraulic bending machine: The main feature of this machine is that it is equipped with a hydraulic cylinder that controls the pressure applied by the punch by varying the pressure of the cylinder. The hydraulic bending machine is more suitable for thick plates and has a higher bending accuracy. Compared to mechanical bending machines, it does not require much maintenance in the later stages of use.

Structure of a panel bending machine

Panel bending machine usually consists of the following parts:

  1. Body: The body is the main body of the panel bending machine, usually made of steel or cast iron, with sufficient strength and rigidity to withstand the pressure and vibration of the process.
  2. Upper and Lower Dies: The upper and lower dies are the core parts of a panel bending machine and are used to bend sheet metal into the desired shape. The upper and lower dies are usually high-strength alloy steel, resistant to abrasion and corrosion.
  3. Pendulum arm: The pendulum arm is the part that connects the upper and lower molds and makes the upper and lower molds move relative to each other during the process through the pendulum movement.
  4. Operating system: the operating system is usually composed of a CNC system and hydraulic system, which is used to control the operation of the panel bending machine and various parameters during the processing, such as bending angle, bending radius, bending speed, etc.
  5. Support device: support the metal sheet to be processed to ensure the stability and accuracy of the sheet during processing.
  6. Clamping device: tight metal plate to be processed to ensure that the processing process does not occur during the plate movement or sliding.

In short, the structure of the panel bending machine is complex, but through the synergistic effect of the various components, it can realize efficient and accurate metal sheet processing.

Features of Panel bending machine


Standardized design of all parts and no need to change dies saves maintenance costs.
The top-down bending die greatly improves the appearance of the bent part.
Panel bender adopts numerical control system and hydraulic system control, which can realize high-precision metal plate processing and ensure the precision and quality of finished products.
Rapid processing of metal sheets of various shapes and sizes, with high adaptability and flexibility, as well as time and cost savings
Conventional plate bending requires skilled workers with specific experience and the ability to track and control the bending stages. In contrast, a plate bending machine can operate by a single person without any specific skills: the machine performs all the bending stages automatically. This reduces personnel costs (hiring unqualified people) and increases production flexibility (more than one person can use the machine).
In conclusion, panel bending machines are characterized by high precision, versatility, high efficiency, ease of operation, safety, reliability and maintenance. They are widely used in the field of sheet metal processing.


The biggest and only disadvantage of this kind of sheet metal bending machine is that it is expensive. For some companies, the one-time investment needs to be bigger.

Panel bending machine applications

Metal processing: panel bending machine can process all kinds of metal plates, such as steel plate, aluminum plate, copper plate and so on. You can also use it to manufacture various vehicles, such as automobiles, airplanes, trains and ships, and parts and components in construction, machinery and electronics.
Furniture Manufacturing: Processing metal sheets of various shapes can be used to manufacture frames, brackets, and other parts of furniture.
Apparatus manufacturing: various apparatus shells, brackets, and other components are required to assist in the production of bending machines.
Pipeline manufacturing: elbow, flare, shrinkage, and other components of various pipelines.

Where is the market for panel bending machines?

The market's geographic location for panel bending machines varies by supplier and buyer, but in general, this equipment is more common in the manufacturing and construction industries. You can find markets for plate bending machines at industrial or construction equipment suppliers. In addition, you can also search for information via the Internet in order to find additional sales channels and suppliers.

Common Bending Methods

Free Bending:

Free bending, also known as air bending, is simpler than other methods. The depth of the upper mold controls the bending angle into the V-groove of the lower mold.
The accuracy of a bent part depends on various factors, such as Y1, Y2, V-axis upper and lower molds, and plate.
However, it is widely used due to its versatility and wide processing range. It is suitable for simple, large or less productive structures.

Three-point bending:

Three-point bending, also known as mold bending (bottoming), has a bending angle determined by the height of the wedge in the lower mold.
The upper die provides only sufficient bending force and eliminates non-parallelism between the dies using hydraulic pads on the ram.
This method allows the production of high-precision parts, i.e., with low angular and straightness errors. It is used for complex structures, small sizes and batch processing.

Corrective bending:

Corrective bending is formed in the cavity formed by the upper and lower molds, which can obtain the desired cross-section shape. However, it requires a larger bending force and repeated mold repair, and the generality of the mold could be better. When special requirements or cross-section shapes can not be realized by free bending, often use this bending method.

Things to consider when buying a panel bending machine

The following factors need to be considered when buying a panel bending machine:
Bending machine type: there are many different types of bending machines, including manual bending machines, semi-automatic bending machines and fully automatic bending machines. It would help to choose the type that suits your needs and budget.

  1. Working capacity: Consider parameters such as the maximum bending length, maximum thickness and maximum bending angle of the bending machine. These parameters will determine the size and shape of the workpiece you can process.
  2. Quality: Choose a high-quality brand to buy to ensure it can run stably for a long time and improve productivity. And the after-sales service of the machine is also critical.
  3. Price and budget: the price of a bending machine varies depending on the model, brand and features. You need to determine your budget before buying and choose a bending machine that meets it.

Final Thoughts

Panel bending machine is an advanced and modern bending machine that completely separates the product's quality from the worker's skill level, ensuring the production of high-quality products.
At the same time, the panel bending machine greatly reduces the labor intensity of workers. In addition, it provides new design ideas for sub-engineers, which has significant advantages for developing new products, enabling enterprises to take the lead in the rapidly changing product market.