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As the sheetmetal fabrication industry is becoming more competitive, fabricators are turning to automation with the aim to eliminate bottlenecks typically associated with machine configuration and tooling setup. For press brake, this means typically adding an AUTOMATIC TOOL CHANGER (ATC).

ZOOMFAB monitors press brakes equipped with ATC. Below are graphs showing time needed to setup press brake manually and with ATC.

Example of manual setup. For light gauge bending, estimators often allow 15 to 20 minutes of setup time per job, which is almost always exceeded… 

bending manual setup

Contrast between manual and automatic tool changing is significant. Depending on type of ATC, it takes an average 3 to 6 minutes to remove previous tooling and install a new one. When finished, the machine is configured and ready for the next job. 

bending automatic tool change


Operators will remain more focused on work as they are not distracted by searching for tools, studying drawings or configuring machine. Other benefits include reduction of accidents and tooling damage, avoiding disruptions when tooling is shared between machines and the ability to use less skilled operators.