What is CNC Press Brake back gauge Axis

The CNC press brake is a kind of press brake controlled by a CNC system.

CNC press brake can fold sheet metals into various profiles.

The bending accuracy and quantity are related to the synchronous system, the hydraulic system and the back gauge.

The function of these press brake components is affected by the number of press brake axes.

This article will introduce the function and working principle of the press brake axes.

What Are the Axes on the Press Brake?

The CNC system controls the movement of the press brake axes.

The press brake axes are named based on their position in the space coordinates.

The precision required for the workpiece determines the number of axes needed by the press brake.

Typically, a CNC press brake has at least three groups of control axes: Y1/Y2, X, and R axes.

These are used to control the movement of the back gauge, ram, and other parts.

A torsion shaft press brake can be used to bend simple workpieces with at least two axes, which are used to control the Y-axis of the ram and the X-axis of the back gauge.

The simplest press brake only needs a Y-axis to control the up-and-down movement of the ram.

The accuracy and repeatability of the Y-axis motion determine the accuracy of the bending angle.

The control system uses axes to control the movement of different parts, thereby controlling the bending angle and size.

What Is Back Gauge on the Press Brake?

The back gauge is controlled by the CNC control system to accurately position the sheet metal.

Typically, a back gauge will have at least one axis, and more advanced systems can have up to six axes.

A separate motor drives each axis to slide back and forth in a specific direction.

Ball screw, synchronous belt and axes realize synchronous movement together.

These precise repetitive actions ensure the accuracy of each batch of workpieces.

Optical sensors and CNC programming on the press brake can also be used for positioning.

Main Groups of Controlled Axis

Y axis

The Y axis controls the most important ram part of the press brake.

The ram drives the die to exert pressure on the metal plate through up and down movement.

In air bending, the up and down movement of the top beam becomes stable and uniform driven by Y axis.

Y axis can be divided into Y1 axis and Y2 axis, which are respectively at the top of the two uprights.

Y1 and Y2 control the up and down movement of cylinders on both sides of the press brake.

The up and down movement of the top beam becomes stable and uniform driven by the Y axis.

Y1 and Y2 are full closed-loop control axes of the left and right cylinders respectively.

Y1 and Y2 can also independently adjust the level of the top beam.

Axes on the back gauge:

The back gauge determines the bending accuracy of the workpiece.

The more complex the workpiece is, the more axes are required for the back gauge.

There will be at most 6 axes on the back gauge, and these axes will have different variants.

Each axis has a separate drive motor to ensure positioning accuracy.

X axis

The X axis mainly controls the forward and reverse movement of the back gauge.

X axis is a very important axis in the bending process, which determines the flange length of the workpiece.

When the sheet metal is pushed to the back gauge, the stop finger on the X axis will position the sheet metal.

The moving width of axis X on the press brake is fixed, but it can be divided into X1 and X2 axes.

X1 and X2 axes enable the stop fingers of the back gauge to move back and forth independently on the left and right sides.

R axis

The R-axis controls the up and down movement of the back gauge and stop finger.

The height of the R-axis can be automatically adjusted according to the height of the dies. The R axis is divided into R1 and R2.

The two axes can move up and down independently on the left and right sides.

Depending on the complexity of the part, the two axes can be positioned at different distances.

The R-axis can also position the bent flange that moved under the bending plane.

Z axis

The Z axis controls the left and right movement of the back gauge of the press brake.

The Z-axis is useful when bending a workpiece requires multiple bending steps and cycles.

The Z1 and Z2 axes can be positioned independently through programming.

Positioning with the Z-axis can improve the accuracy and efficiency of bending.

The Z-axis positioning provides uniform support for longer bending sheet metal.

X axis

The X axis controls the forward and backward movement of the back gauge.

As long as the sheet metal enters the back gauge, the stop finger can accurately position the plate.

X1 is the forward and backward moving axis of the left stop finger, and X2 is the forward and backward moving axis of the right stop finger.

The X1 and X2 axes can measure the length of the workpiece flange being formed.

Other Axes on the Press Brake

Some functions of the press brake are closely related to other axes of the press brake.

Due to different materials, the bending angle needs to be compensated during the bending process.

The laser angle measurement system can feed back to the control system and compensate through the Y axis.

The V axis can adjust the beam and workbench of the press brake.

The workpiece with excessive load will cause the problem of crowning.

The V axis adjusts the entire beam to counteract crowning.

How to Choose Multi-Axis Press Brake

The number of axes of the press brake determines the complexity and accuracy of the workpiece.

However, the more axes, the higher the cost of machine procurement.

If there are no complex bending requirements, only a basic 3-axis or 4-axis press brake is required.

If complex and precise workpieces need to be processed, the more the number of axes, the better the bending effect.


The bending accuracy of a press brake is determined by the movement of its axes.

A press brake should have at least one Y-axis to control the up and down movement of the ram.

The Y-axis is the most important axis because it controls the bending angle of the workpiece.

The most common press brake is the 3-axis configuration, which is equipped with Y1/Y2, X, and R axes.

When purchasing a press brake, it’s important to select the appropriate number of axes based on the complexity of the workpiece.

Hycules is a professional press brake manufacturer. Our product experts can help you select the most suitable press brake for your budget.

Learn more about shearing machines, bending machines, and other sheet metal equipment. For the best price, please contact us.

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