Predominant failure modes in the forming of sheet metal parts are wrinkling and tearing. Wrinkling may occur at the flange as well as in other areas of the drawn part and is generated by excessive compressive stresses that cause the sheet to buckle locally. Fracture occurs in a drawn material which is under excessive tensile stresses. For a given part and blank geometries, the major factors affecting the occurrence of defects in sheet metal parts are the blank holder force (BHF) and the blank holder pressure (BHP). These variables can be controlled to delay or completely eliminate wrinkling and fracture. Modern mechanical presses are equipped with hydraulic cushions and various advanced multi-point pressure control systems. Thus, the BHP can be adjusted over the periphery of the blank holder as a function of location and time (or press stroke). This paper examines the effect of BHF and BHP on the sheet metal part quality and suggests a method for controlling the BHF as a function of punch travel during the forming process.