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Multi-needle lock stitch

With 20% higher speed, the Dahmen multi-needle lockstitch machine is now the most productive in the world

In cooperation with Baumüller, Dahmen has developed the world's most productive multi-needle lockstitch machine with a 1'' needle gauge

Baumüller has developed a complete system for Dahmen's new multi-needle lockstitch machine FASTTRONIC 2, which works up to 20 percent faster than standard machines. Among other things, this competitive advantage ensures the future viability of the specialist in textile machines.

Textiles are highly versatile and are used in a wide variety of areas. Different fabrics made of varying materials can be used to produce mattresses, bedding, blouses, and car seat covers, to name a few examples. The fabrics have a different feel to them each time: Everything from smooth to cuddly-soft to luxurious is possible.

Quilting techniques for greater lying comfort

Dahmen, a manufacturer of textile machines based in North Rhine-Westphalia, has set its focus on multi-needle lockstitch machines and multi-needle chainstitch machines. Moreover, the company offers a range of accessories, adding a cutting unit to its machines, for example. The majority of its customers use the machines to manufacture mattresses. The quilting technique used has a major impact on the lying sensation as well as on quality of the mattress. Relatively small quilting patterns make the surface firmer, while large quilting patterns give the surface a more supple feel.

A long-standing partnership

For many years now, Dahmen has relied on the automation technology of its partner Baumüller, where it receives everything from a single source. The Baumüller drive concept allows a high sewing speed of 650 rpm. That means 650 needle stitches per minute. "This high stitching speed makes the FASTTRONIC 2 the world's most productive lockstitch machine with a 1'' needle gauge," says Dr. Eric Ringhut, Managing Director of Dahmen Textilmaschinen GmbH.

The FASTTRONIC 2 is a multi-needle lockstitch machine with a width of up to 4,670 mm for the production of mattress covers and bedding. With a sewing speed of up to 650 rpm, it is the fastest multi-needle lockstitch machine Dahmen has ever built. What makes this new design so special is its completely new top drive concept, which, in combination with an optimized top thread guide, ensures high reliability and improved stitch quality at very high sewing speeds.

In order to create the fastest multi-needle lockstitch machine in the world, Dahmen collaborated closely with Baumüller, the Nuremberg-based drive and automation manufacturer. Together, they developed and implemented a complete, fully automated system. From the drive technology to the control unit including software modules, all components come from one source and are delivered to Dahmen as a complete package.

How does the multi-needle lockstitch machine FASTTRONIC 2 work?

The multi-needle lockstitch machine FASTTRONIC 2 is used to stitch several layers of padding together. These are drawn simultaneously over a needle bar and, depending on the quilting pattern, stitched by a total of 100 needles per needle row. The needle bar is computer-controlled to move left to right and forwards and backwards in order to generate the desired quilting pattern.

For the drive solution, the compact, high-torque DSC1 servo motors were combined with converters of the b maXX 5000 series. The FASTTRONIC 2 is controlled via the b maXX PCC-04 box PC. The powerful control unit with a 15'' touch display is optimized for real-time operation and offers fast field bus cycle times and minimal time tolerances. The machine operator can import the quilting patterns directly via the panel. The overall solution meets all standards of the Machinery Directive up to SIL3 and PLe. Thanks to their high torque density, the DSC1 servo motors afford very good concentricity characteristics. This allows the production of an absolutely uniform seam, thereby achieving maximum quality in the quilting process.

Dahmen Fasttronic multi-needle lockstitch machineThe multi-needle lockstitch machine FASTTRONIC 2 is used to stitch several layers of padding together. These are drawn simultaneously over a needle bar and, depending on the quilting pattern, stitched by a total of 100 needles per needle row

Another important criterion for the equipment for the FASTTRONIC 2 was the issue of safety. All four axes of the b maXX side-by-side systems are equipped with safety encoders and the Safe Stop 2 (SS2) function. The SS2 function causes the motor to stop quickly and safely and activates the Safe Operating Stop (SOS) function as soon as the machine comes to a standstill. This allows the motor to be stopped safely in accordance with to EN 60204-1. The drive is braked autonomously on a quickstop ramp and, unlike the Safe Stop 1 (SS1) function, the drive controller remains in operation. As a result, production can continue on the machine error-free after braking. For Dahmen, this is particularly important for ensuring the consistent accuracy of the quilting pattern.

CNC functionalities for 360-degree quilting

To make the FASTTRONIC 2 fit for the future, great importance was attached to the application of internationally applicable standards and the high quality of the components. The developers opted for a universal machine concept. For this purpose, they were able to make use of the Baumüller software libraries that are already pre-installed in the ProMaster engineering framework. These enable free CNC programming of the various quilting patterns with no need for additional hardware. Programming is based on DIN 66025, i.e. the pattern can be freely stitched in a radius of 360 degrees.

Event-based logbook for productivity evaluations

b maXX 5000, Safe Stop 2 and Safety EncoderThe required safety functions Safe Stop 2 and Safety Encoder are integrated in the b maXX 5000 side-by-side converters.

As many of the machines are sold to the Eastern European market, for example, easy remote maintenance is a high priority for Dahmen. The Baumüller solution is not only very easy to operate, but also allows the early planning of maintenance work with optional continuous condition monitoring, thereby increasing the level of control in process sequences. A freely extendible shift calendar and an analysis and report tool for productivity evaluations have also been programmed. "The event-based logbook includes utilization figures, error analyses and downtimes. The operator has multiple failure causes to choose from and can thus document the failure very accurately. This makes it possible to greatly increase the productivity of the machine," says Dr. Eric Ringhut.

Intelligent functionalities for maximum productivity

Dahmen Fasttronic multi-needle lockstitch machine with DSC1 servo motorsThe FASTTRONIC 2 is driven by four Baumüller drives. Dahmen opted for the highly compact servo motors of the DSC1 series, which are particularly high-torque and score additional points with their good concentricity characteristics and high overload capability.

Crucial for high sewing reliability is the presser plate, which can be adjusted during operation within seconds on the new Dahmen machine, thereby allowing it to be adapted to the different material properties. Another standout feature of the machine is its tack and jump function. This enables a quilting process in which the machine only sews at certain points. This gives the fabric a tufted look for a fuller loft of the padding layer. The pneumatic pressure roller provides optimum material control during backward and sideways movements. High sewing quality is ensured by the electronic and noiseless upper thread monitoring with self-learning function. And the EVOLUTION 2 shuttle drive reduces wear and maintenance work enormously. Together, these functions make the FASTTRONIC 2 the most efficient multi-needle lockstitch machine worldwide.


The FASTTRONIC 2 stands for maximum pattern accuracy in 360-degree stitching. In order to implement its multi-needle lockstitch machine, Dahmen was looking for a partner to take charge of the entire machine automation. Due to its sophisticated drive concept and the added value created by the tool for monitoring and increasing productivity, the choice fell on Baumüller. Together, they developed the world's most productive multi-needle lockstitch machine with a 1'' needle gauge. The completely new top drive concept allows sewing speeds of up to 650 rpm. The machine impresses with its high speed, high sewing reliability and an event-based analysis tool that significantly increases the productivity of the FASTTRONIC 2.