Press brake operators are responsible for manufacturing tools, metal, and other pieces of equipment using a press brake. Press brakes, or brake presses, are "computer numeric controlled" (CNC) machine tools designed to make punches, bends, and cuts into sheet or plate material, particularly sheet metal.
Press brake operators are required to have thorough knowledge of this equipment, as their work primarily involves operating the machines and fabricating structural steel to produce a quality product. Although these are primary tasks, they are also responsible for reading and interpreting blueprints/plans for a final product, making relevant adjustments to the machines, and inspecting the final product after production. They are also responsible for keeping maintenance of press brakes, paying attention to potential defects, and performing periodic checks. They are also often in charge of ensuring that sufficient materials are provided.
Press brake operators typically work regular hours. Their usual employers are construction companies and businesses in other construction-related industries. These operators usually work alone, but may work with other members within their organization, such as managers or customers who have recruited work to be done. Their work is almost entirely physical and requires frequent lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling when operating machinery. It is also essential for press brake operators to have an understanding of computers, basic mathematical knowledge, and the ability to understand blueprints. No form of tertiary education is required to work as a press brake operator, but employers almost always require formal experience in metal press forming and metal fabrication.
Press Brake Operator Tasks
Set up and operate press brake machinery and related equipment.
Maintain a safe and hygienic workspace.
Inspect products, make corrections and ensure quality.
Measure, align, and position materials.