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No Break for These Brakes: Why Vermeer Chose CINCINNATI

Vermeer®Corporation, a third-generation family-owned company based in Pella, Iowa, is known for the manufacture of high-quality agricultural, underground construction, surface mining, tree care and environmental equipment. Their iconic “yellow iron” can be seen on industrial jobsites and in farm fields worldwide. Known since 1948 for building products that are durable and reliable, it stands to reason that they would look for a fabrication equipment partner with the same reputation. They found the perfect match in CINCINNATI.


Vermeer has used CI press brakes since 1994. Chris McElroy, now a CNC Programmer for the company, used to run the first 135-ton AUTOFORM they purchased. His experience made him a believer. “I pushed it as hard as I could, but we seldom had any service calls beyond routine maintenance,” he said. “We build our equipment for strength and dependability, and it was obvious to me that CINCINNATI does the same.”

In 2012, Vermeer wanted to replace some older press brakes bought from competitors prior to 1994. They approached this task in a scientific manner, compiling research on different manufacturers to see what was new in the market. In the end, they determined that nothing compared to their experience with CINCINNATI. 

Cory Plants, Manufacturing Engineer at Vermeer, spelled out the differences. “CINCINNATI’s frames are linked, instead of welded. Their ram guides are three times larger than the competition. All this strength is combined with the latest sensors and electronics for a package that is hard to beat.”


Even though some of the CI machines at Vermeer are decades old, they are still structurally sound.We were able to upgrade controls on our older CI press brakes to match the controls of the newer models,” said Plants. “This is something no other press brake manufacturer offers.”

Upgradability via retrofits was a big selling point for Plants. “With the lifespan of the CI equipment, we can get the benefits of new technology on the old frames for decades to come,” he said. An immediate advantage is that training on the new and old machines has been drastically reduced. With previous controls, operators would need to know how to read prints. “The new controls are extremely intuitive. We can train someone on our CI press brakes quickly.” 

McElroy appreciates the fact that the new controls allow him to program offline. “I can access programs and tooling and then make revisions on the intranet, right from my desk. In fact, I had 2,000 part programs ready for the newest press brake before it hit the floor.”

Additional Safety Features

In addition to new control upgrades, safety upgrades were also made. Light curtains on the press brakes have been replaced by lasers, which are more user-friendly and provide better productivity, since the ram can be moved much closer to the part at full speed. 

Another safety feature is a new foot pedal which features two positions: a soft step for bending and a hard step to raise the ram. If the operator oversteps or slips, the ram will raise for safety.

The Latest Addition

Vermeer recently purchased its first GOFORM electric press brake. This versatile short bed 40-ton press brake is perfect for large quantities of small parts up to a quarter inch thick and less than 50 pounds. The key benefit of the GOFORM is right there in the name—it can be easily moved with a fork truck or overhead crane and put into production without being anchored to the floor. “It’s also super fast,” Plants added. 

Above and Beyond

“At Vermeer, we remain focused on our customer needs,” said McElroy. “We find that CINCINNATI has a similar way of thinking.” As an example, he cited the company’s search for the best offline software for bend simulation. “We had tried several different brands of third-party software in the beginning, but nothing worked as well as the CINCINNATI product, so that is what we have used for the last eight years. 

“Recently we did go to a third party for the sole reason that we could program other brands of press brakes. CI was willing to help the third party write a post for their equipment. None of the other name brands will do this. They will only allow you to program with their proprietary software. That kind of customer service mirrors our philosophy and is another reason why we enjoy working with CINCINNATI.” 

Decades of Value Thus Far. Decades More to Come.

Customers come to Vermeer to help them get their tough work done. Vermeer counts on the unbeatable equipment at CINCINNATI for the same reason. 

If you need legendary metal fabricating machine tools that provide day-in, day-out performance, contact us to make it happen. Your machines will reward your investment with reliable return, both now and decades into the future.