US 3034514 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 15, 1962 J. R. PlNKHAM 3,034,514
FQRAMINOUS ROTOR CIGARETTE ROD FORMER Filed March 9, 1959 5 SheetsSheet 1 INVENTOR (/6356 B. Pinkham ATTORNEY May 15, 1962 J. R. PINKHAM 3,034,514
F ORAMINOUS 'RO'I'OR CIGARETTE ROD FORMER Filed March 9, 1959 4 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR Jesse B. Pinkimm ATTORNEY May 15, 1962 J. R. PINKHAM 3,034,514
FORAMINOUS ROTOR CIGARETTE ROD FORMER Filed March 9, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 '-1'-1--1---- I l l E i 5 I P'ffi'fi INVENT OR 7 1%? 6 (/Zwefl. PmZzham Y LTM 5 M ATTORNEY May 15, 1962 J. R. PINKHAM Filed March 9, 1959 FORAMINOUS ROTOR CIGARETTE ROD FORMER 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR. J 5555 R. Pm KHAN! ATTORNEY May 15, 1962 Filed March 9, 1959 J. R. PlNKHAM v FORAMINOUS ROTOR CIGARETTE ROD FORMER 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 PIC-3.10
HVVENTOR. J5555 R PmKHAM him ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,034,514 FDRAMINOUS ROTOR CIGARETTE ROD FGRMER Jesse R. Pinkham, Raleigh, N.C., assignor to American Machine 8; Foundry Company, a corporation of New Jersey Filed Mar. 9, 1959, Ser. No. 798,023 23 Claims. (Cl. 131--84) This invention relates to tobacco manipulating machines of the type which produce an endless rod or-rope of tobacco; one example of such machinery being the endless rod cigarette making machine, but it will be understood that this invention applies equally well to other machinery such as tobacco packaging machinery, etc.
Users of such machines will be well aware of the fact that the endless rope of tobacco produced is never uniform in cross section, variations existing in mass per unit length depending on a number of factors. This lack of uniformity results in a lack of uniformity in the finished product, that is, in the case of a cigarette making machine, in the uniformity of the finished cigarettes produced. Such lack of uniformity is undesirable for many reasons, for example, the smoker is liable to be displeased if he finds one cigarette containing less tobacco than the next. Accordingly, the manufacturer of cigarettes is always striving to improve the individual weights of the cigarettes produced.
The manufacturer is also interested in improving individual weight uniformity from the point of view of yield of cigarettes produced per unit mass of tobacco.
It is the almost universal practice to form the endless rope of tobacco on existing machinery by providing a shower of tobacco particles which is allowed to fall or is projected downwardly, and which is collected on a horizontally moving band or cigarette paper Web for ultimate formation into an endless cigarette rod. This means that the falling shower, when it reaches the band, is violently accelerated in a direction normal to its path of travel, thereby causing the strands of tobacco to slip and bounce at the point where the accelerating force is applied. This, it is well known, imposes a limitation on the speed of such machinery, for the errors due to this slipping are completely unavoidable with existing methods, and the speed of machinery must therefore be held within such limits that the errors due to such slippage are tolerable.
Much time and effort has been expended in attempting to improve existing machinery in relation to the factors stated above. Although some progress has been made, the problem has never yet been satisfactorily solved in its entirety.
It is the object of this invention to provide means whereby an endless rod or rope of tobacco may be formed which is of more uniform mass per unit length than has hitherto been possible.
Another object of this invention is to provide means whereby the speed of such machinery may be increased beyond that in current use today, without affecting the uniformity of the cigarette rod produced.
Another object of this invention is to form a mixture of tobacco strands and air, said mixture being conveyed to perforate members on which the tobacco is deposited whilst the air passes through the perforations in such members, the final cigarette rod being formed by laminating the tobacco mats so produced.
Another object is to provide improved \vinnowing of tobacco by pneumatic means whilst it is being conveyed by air.
Another object of this invention is to build up a final rope of tobacco from a plurality of thin layers of tobacco superimposed one upon the other.
3,034,514 Patented May 15, 1962 ice Other objects and features of the invention will appear as a description of the particular physical embodiments selected to illustrate the invention progress. In the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specification, two separate embodiments are illustrated. In each, like characters of reference have been applied to corresponding parts throughout the several views which make up the drawings.
FIGURE 1 shows a diagrammatic side elevation of the tobacco feed and rod forming mechanism according to one embodiment of this invention.
FIGURE 2 shows a plan view of the multiplicity of suction disks which are shown in side elevation as a part of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 shows a side elevation of the suction disks shown in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 shows details of a single perforated suction disk.
FIGURE 5 shows a side elevation of the single disk shown in FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 shows details of a suction disk relating to the removal of the tobacco stream formed on its surface.
FIGURE 7 shows a side elevation of a second embodimerit of this invention.
FIGURE 8 shows a front elevation of FIGURE 7 looking in the direction of arrow (A).
FIGURE 9 shows details of the construction of the tobacco collecting drums employed in the second embodiment.
FIGURE 10 shows details of the method employed in transferring the tobacco stream from one suction drum to another.
FIGURE 11 shows one method of supporting the suction drums resiliently relative one to the other.
FIGURE 12 shows one form of the periphery of the suction drums.
FIGURE 13 shows a second alternative for the shape of the periphery of the suction drums.
The following description relates to that embodiment of this invention shown in FIGURES l to 6 inclusive:
Referring to FIGURE 1, bulk tobacco 10 is placed in the hopper in which it rests on belt 12. The belt 12 moves in the direction of the arrow shown pressing the mass of tobacco against rotating carded drum 14. The
carding on the drum 14 is filled with tobacco by reason of the pressure exerted by belt 12. The drum 14 rotates in the direction of the arrow shown on it, and drum 16 which is mounted above the drum 14, rotates in the direction of its arrow so that the surplus toabcco held in the tines of the carding on the drum 14 is brushed back towards the main supply by the rotation of the drum 16, leaving a substantially uniform carpet of tobacco to be carried through the space between the drums towards the rotating picker 20. A scraper arm 17 also limits the amount of tobacco entering between drums 14 and 16.
The picker 20 extracts the tobacco from the carding tines, and throws it downwardly in a shower 22 as illustrated. In conformity with the usual practice, the axial length of the drums 14 and 16 and the width of the Whole feed apparatus is about three to four feet; thus the shower of tobacco thrown downwardly by the picker roller 26 is also of this width. Across the whole Width of the feed immediately in front of the refuser roller 16 is mounted a wide centrifugal fan housing 18 which is in practice made up of a series of cells, so that it is in reality a multiplicity of fans mounted side by side whose fan rotors are carried on a common shaft 21. This fan draws air into its center around the shaft 21 as shown, expelling the air from the periphery of the fan in the usual way in the direction of the arrows towards the picker roller 20. In this way a current of air is provided which entrains the falling tobacco 22, carrying it downwardly towards plate 25 around the lower extremity of vertical plate 27, which forms, in conjunction with front plate 29, an upwardly directed channel 24 in which the air and tobacco are directed towards the center of the fan 21, thus completing the circuit.
In order to prevent leakage outwardly of dust-laden air, a resilient roll 19 is provided which presses tightly against the roller 16, and around which the fan housing 18 extends as shown, in order to provide a labyrinth seal through which substantially no air can pass. Also, at the upper extremity of the plate 25 a similar roller 23 is provided which presses against the foremost roller carrying the band 12 and also against the upper edge of the plate 25, thus again making a seal through which substantially no air can pass. Thus, the air contained in the apparatus will continually circulate through the fan, downwardly through the tobacco shower, around the lower edge of the plate 27 and upwardly again towards the center of the fan.
It will be seen that as this air current carries the tobacco particles 22 around the lower edge of the plate 27, a violent change in direction is necessitated. Any heavy particles of tobacco, such as tobacco stem, or any foreign matter which may be in the tobacco, being much heavier than the tobacco strands, Will tend to continue on in a straight path rather than to follow the direction of the air current closely around the edge of the vertical plate 27. Thus, such heavy particles will be thrown out of the air stream and will fall upon rotating air lock 28. In this Way, the particles of stem and foreign matter will be carried in the pockets on the periphery of member 28, out of the zone of air movement within the feed proper so that they may fall by gravity into box 30, from which they may be removed as required. This process of separating stem from tobacco strands is known as winnowing and is an essential part of any cigarette making operation, for it is found in practice that heavy particles of stem are almost always present in the cut tobacco supplied to cigarette making machinery due to the impossibility of performing the stemming operation with 100% efiiciency.
In the path of the upflowing air and tobacco stream 24 are disposed disk members 32. Referring to FIGURE 4, it will be seen that each disk 32 is provided with an annular band of holes 31 around its outer diameter. These holes are of a sufiiciently small diameter to prevent the passage therethrough of tobacco strands, and yet they are sufficiently large to permit the air to pass through. In this way, referring back to FIGURE 1, it will be seen that the air carrying the tobacco up the channel 24 will I pass directly through the holes in the disks 32 on its way to the fan 18, but that the tobacco strands will be deposited on the faces of the disks being prevented from traveling further by the size of the holes. Thus, a mat of tobacco is built up to cover the holes 31 in the disk 32. There is a multiplicity of disks, as shown generally in FIGURES 2 and 3, such disks being arranged in overlapping formation, so as to fill the space between one wall of the feed and the other, providing means whereby a continuous series of streams of tobacco is built up on the underside of said disks, to be carried, by reason of the rotation of the disks, to a point almost diametrically opposite to that on which the tobacco is deposited at which point the streams are transferred to the band or paper web 72.
The disks 32 are driven by means of shaft 76 through bevel gears and through the several shafts 78, 80, 82 and 84 in order that the speed may be properly controlled and matched with the speed of the belt or paper 72. FIG- URES 1, 2 and 3 show the method by which the stepped or overlapping formation of the disks permits the formation of the carpet of tobacco on one side thereof, from whence it is carried to a second position to be deposited on belt 72. In order that the deposition of this stream of tobacco on belt 72 may not necessitate a long drop from successive disks before it reaches the belt 72, the the belt is constrained to run over rollers 73 and 94 in a direction upwardly inclined so as to follow closely the leading edges of the stepped arrangement of disks.
Reference is made to FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 for details regarding the means whereby the tobacco carpet is carried from the point of buildup to the band 72. As will be seen, the upwardly-directed duct 48, which is shown connected to the fan in FIGURE 1, is connected at its lower end to a sickle-shaped box 40, which covers a suitable portion of the annular series of holes 31 around each disk 32. At the rear side of the disks, the carpet of tobacco is formed as shown in FIGURE 1, but throughout the overlapping portions, of each successive disk the tobacco carpet has to be carried above its neighboring disk, towards the front, i.e. toward the belt 72. In order to hold the tobacco in position, air is drawn through it by means of the sickle shaped suction box 40 effectively preventing movement of the tobacco carpet relative to the disk. In the vicinity of the band 72, the suction box 40 of each disk is terminated and immediately adjacent thereto, another box 56 is provided into which air pressure is applied via pipe 64. Thus, air tends to blow outwardly through the holes 31 in the disk 32, so removing the carpet of tobacco, causing it to leave the disk and drop by gravity downwardly onto the band 72 which is immediately below it. In order to assist this operation, a scraper 74 may be provided to ensure that all tobacco is positively scraped from the surface of each disk 32 and to guide it onto the band 72 below. This detailed description applies to each of the disks, 32, 34, 36 and 38, and indeed, to any number of such disks which may be necessary to cover the width of the feed apparatus. In order to prevent a disturbance of the carpet of tobacco formed on the surface of each disk, as it is carried around from the point of formation to the band 72, an extension plate 33 is provided under each disk which matches in shape the suction box 40 above. The plate 33 in each case is so spaced away from the perforated disk 32 that it will permit the passage through the space so formed of the thin carpet of tobacco on the disk, but it will substantially prevent any movement of air along this tobacco channel, the tobacco forming a loose seal against the inner surface of this plate 33.
It is to be noted that the stream or carpet of tobacco formed on the under face of each disk will be of an extremely uniform thickness, for as the tobacco is deposited thereon it will tend to block the perforations, thus directing the stream of air to those perforations which are less efliciently covered; also, as the thickness of the tobacco carpet increases, the carpet will oifer resistance to the passage of the air therethrough in proportion to its thickness, so that in the portions of thinnest carpet, the most air will pass carrying to those points tobacco to ensure that they are built up at a faster rate than the thicker portions of the carpet where less air is passing. This method of building up a stream of tobacco is thereby self-compensating to insure a uniformity never hitherto obtained.
Also, from the description given it will be appreciated that the stream of tobacco finally carried forwardly to the cigarette rod making apparatus over roller 94 is comprised of a multiplicity of streams of substantially uniform density, one being delivered from each disk across the width of the feed apparatus and united under pressure. In this way, any minor errors existing in the uniformity of the tobacco carpet from one disk is compensated for by the delivery of successive layers from the other disks to insure that the final stream is an average of the tobacco streams from the several disks across the width of the feed apparatus. Thus there is provided an extremely uniform and dense final stream of tobacco for feeding into the cigarette making apparatus.
FIGURES 7 to 13 inclusive show a second embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIGURE 7, bulk tobacco 192 is placed in the hopper where it rests on band, 101},
This band carries the tobacco 102 forwardly against the carded roller 104, which rotates in the direction of the arrow shown.
The carding is filled with tobacco by reason of the pressure exerted by the band 100 thereon, to carry such tobacco upwardly where it passes under roller 106 which rotates in the direction of the arrow shown, where the surplus tobacco is brushed back, permitting only the desired quantity to pass in the form of a carpet on the drum 104 towards the picker roller 68. A scraper arm 107 also limits the amount of tobacco entering between drums 104 and 106. Picker roller 68 rotates as shown, picking out the tobacco from the tines of the carding and causing it to be thrown downwardly in a shower between plate 110 and plate -112.
The shower of tobacco constrained between plates 110 and 112 is conducted towards the rotating roller 114, which is perforated and is connected to a source of suction inside, so that the tobacco adheres to the surface of such roller, being carried with it as it rotates. In order that the tobacco carpet so formed may not be disturbed by the air current into which it is subsequently to be introduced, an air lock is provided at the lower extremity of the plate 110, which lock consists of a roller 120, an endless band 118, and a second roller 121, arranged so that the band 118 fits snugly against the roller 114 carrying the tobacco on its surface and acts as an air barrier.
The band 118 is driven at the same velocity as the perforated roller 114 so that the roller, tobacco and band travel together, carrying the tobacco from one zone to the other without permitting air to pass. Inside the rotating roller 114, a shoe 116 is provided for cutting off the suction at a suitable place to release the tobacco carried on the periphery of the roller so that it may be readily picked up in an air stream which is caused to flow in an upwardly directed channel 119.
As will be seen, a centrifugal fan 122 is provided which in conjunction with a suitable plenum chamber 124 causes a current of air to flow upwardly past the roller 1 14. It will be noted that the width of the channel 119 through which the air passes in the vicinity of this roller is carefully shaped to make sure that the velocity of air passing upwardly is sufiicient to carry with it strands of tobacco delivered by the roller 114 and yet is sufiiciently slow to insure that any heavy particles, such as stem or heavy foreign matter, will not be carried by the air, but wall fall downwardly to be collected in box 126, from which it may be removed by any suitable means.
The upper portion of the air channel 119 is considerably reduced in size immediately above the roller 114 to ensure a sufiicient velocity for elficiently transporting the strands of tobacco upwardly towmd perforated drum 128 as shown in FIGURE 7. The drum 128 is one of a number which are spaced across the width of the feed, but for purposes of explanation, the following description refers only to the drum shown in FIGURE 7.
The drum 128 is perforated around its periphery with a series of small holes of suflicient size to permit the air passing upwardly from the fan 122 to pass therethrough, but of a sufficiently small size to prevent the passage of tobacco particles. In this way, a mat of tobacco will be built up on the under surface of the drum, the air passing through to return to the plenum chamber 124 via the ducts 130.
The buildup of tobacco strands on the periphery of the drum 128 will be substantially uniform inasmuch as the conditions are similar to those described in relation to the first embodiment of this invention. The drum 128 is driven by means of chain 136 and sprocket 134 which is mounted on the drum shaft 132. This is shown in some detail in FIGURE 8, in which the drum 128 is shown on shaft 132 with a fixed chute 137 inside which connects to the pipe 130. A valve 138 is provided to adjust the suction applied to the inside of the drum 128.
- being collected in that area.
As shown in FIGURE 11 the drum 128 is one of a plurality of drums which are arranged to cover the whole width of the tobacco feed apparatus. It will be appreciated that this represents a slightly different method of building up the final stream from that described in the first embodiment, for in this case, the rollers or drums are arranged to be driven in such a manner that adjacent rollers are driven in opposite rotational directions so that their contiguous surfaces run in the same direction.
The film or stream of tobacco formed on the surface of each drum is not deposited onto a moving band as in the first embodiment, but is successively transferred from one drum to its neighbor across the whole width of the feed, building up a thicker carpet or stream on each successive drum by reason of the new tobacco attracted to it in the air stream and by reason of the stream transferred to it from the previous drum. The final drum, transfers the total stream which it has retained onto the tobacco web in a manner to be described.
FIGURE 9 shows a pair of adjacent rollers which are typical of the whole series of rollers across the feed. A shoe 142 is positioned inside the perforated drum 128 to prevent suction inside the drum from having any effect in that portion of the drum covered by the shoe. By the position of the shoe 142, in FIGURE 9 the suction can only have influence through the holes in the lower half of this drum, in which area the tobacco is attracted to it and a thin carpet is built up on its surface. As the drum rotates in the direction of the arrow, it carries the thin carpet toward the next drum 140. At their points of tangency the shoe 142 cuts off the suction from inside the drum 128, permitting the tobacco on its surface to be attracted to the drum 140, which is exposed to full suction at this point.
The drum is provided with a very short shoe 144 in the position shown which is adjacent to the next roller to the left. A transfer of the tobacco on drum 140 is effected in a manner similar to the transfer from drum 128. Thus, the carpet of tobacco which was carried on drum 128 is transferred to the drum 140 to be carried over the top half of that drum up to the shoe 144, where it is transferred onto the next drum. Simultaneously with this, air is also passing into the drum 140 through its lower half so that a new complement of tobacco is It will be seen that this tobacco is combined with the stream of tobacco transferred to drum 140 from the previous drum, so that the stream of tobacco passing over the top of the drum is the sum of the two.
The process is repeated from drum to drum across the feed so that the stream of tobacco from the final drum 146 as shown in FIGURE 11, is made up of many layers depending upon the number of drums employed across the width of the feed and the amount of tobacco retained. The drums may be on fixed centers suitably spaced to permit the varying thickness of tobacco stream to pass between them, or they may be mounted as shown in this embodiment, in which they are suspended as shown in FIGURE 10. Each drum is mounted on an arm which is pivotally mounted at 148 to the frame.
Each drum mount assembly is pulled to one side by means of spring 152, so that each drum is urged towards its neighbor in a resilient fashion, permitting the tobacco stream to pass through with the drum following any variation in thickness thereof so as to maintain the desired pressure at the point of junction between the streams carried on adjacent drums to effect a complete union in a manner for producing a homogeneous stream. From this it will be seen that the final stream consists of a multiplicity of smaller streams of substantially uniform density laid one on the other under pressure to form the final stream. This has the advantage that any minor errors existing in such minor streams may be compensated by the fact that the final stream consists of an average 7 of many smaller streams, thereby making for greater accuracy.
In addition, this particular embodiment offers further advantages, for it will be seen that although the air in passing into the drum moves substantially at right angles to the drum surfaces, the drum in passing through the upwardly moving tobacco laden air stream assumes different attitudes relative to that stream, so that at the extreme left hand side of any particular drum, for instance, the air stream and tobacco approach that drum at an acute angle.
As the movement of the drum continues, this angle of approach gradually becomes less acute until it reaches a right angle, after which the angle becomes more acute again in the opposite direction, ensuring that the tobacco carpet built up is made of strands which are laid upon it from a variety of difierent directions, making quite sure that a very closely knit mat of tobacco is formed on the surface of the drum.
The final stream of tobacco produced by the multiplicity of drums is ultimately transferred to the last drum 146. Below drum 146, a cigarette paper web 143 is introduced, which web is carried on the endless folder tape 150, which arrangement carries the stream of tobacco which it receives from roller 146 onto the web 148, through the rod forming apparatus in which an endless cigarette rod is formed by known means. The transfer of the final tobacco stream from drum 145 is effected by means of an internal shoe 147, as shown in FIGURE 11, which cuts ofi? the suction, thereby releasing the stream of tobacco. This fixed shoe may be supplied if desired with a slight air pressure efiect to further facilitate the dislodgment of the mat of tobacco. In addition there is provided a scraper 145 which functions in conjunction with the drum to ensure that the stream of tobacco carried on its surface is properly transferred to the cigarette paper web 148.
If in spite of all the precautions taken, due to conditions of tobacco, the stream of tobacco finally formed still contains some variations in its mass per unit length, further means are vailable for improving this. It will be appreciated that in transferring the stream from one drum to the next as described above, a very dense structure is formed, for suitable pressure may be applied at the point of union between each stream to ensure that one is properly knit with the next. In this way, the stream finally delivered onto the drum 146 will be very uniform in density so that any variation in mass per unit length will be manifest in a difierence in thickness of the tobacco stream on drum 146.
In order to improve the mass per unit length at this point, a high speed rotating picker device \153 is employed which rotates adjacent to the stream passing on 146, removing the high points from that stream in such a manner that the final stream remaining is even more uniform as regards mass per unit length.
The series of drums of which 128 and 140 are typical, may have recessed in their periphery a variety of shapes. As shown in FIGURE 11, the drums are made in a plain cylindrical shape, the carpet of tobacco formed on their surface merely separating the drums as it is transferred from one to the next. Alternatively, the drums may be provided with a recessed periphery as shown in FIGURE 12. Here, a recess of a suitable width and depth to accommodate the thickness of the carpeted tobacco on that particular drum is provided, permitting the high points or full diameters of the drum to run together so that the stream of tobacco between them is subject to less pressure than would be provided by the springs which hold them together. From this, it will be seen that any con-. venient shape may be provided to contain the stream of tobacco, FIGURE 13 showing yet another alternative in which the stream is made in a curved formation, as distinct from the angular-sided formation of FIGURE 12.
It will be understood from what is described above that the air circulating through the drums and plenum chamber is constrained to move in an endless circuit, that is, a closed circuit. Under these conditions it may be that air pressure inside the apparatus would cause small quantities of dust-laden air to be expelled from any joints in the casings, etc. In order to avoid this undesirable state of affairs, the exit of the fan is provided with a branch 154 terminating in a suitable valve 156 in such a manner that a small quantity of air is allowed to bleed out of the circuit. In this way, the pressure within the closed circuit forming the working apparatus, would be lowered and lesser tendency would result for tobaccoladen air to blow out of any cracks existing, in fact, in most of the circuit the pressure would be sufliciently low to cause the air to leak inwardly, thus providing much cleaner operating conditions than would otherwise exist.
Having described two somewhat different embodiments of this invention, it must be stated that these do not constitute the limits of this invention. It will be appreciated that many variations can be employed within the spirit of the claims which are not to be limited by the examples quoted.
What is claimed is:
l. A cigarette rod former comprising a source of supply of tobacco, a tobacco feeding belt for supporting and propelling said tobacco forwardly, a carding drum for extracting a predetermined quantity of tobacco from said supply, a refuser drum rejecting any excess tobacco from said carding drum, a picker roller to pick tobacco from said carding drum, a suction blower to propel, in close circuit, the tobacco that has been picked from said carded drum, a passage to receive the propelled tobacco, a substantially vertical chute located at an acute angle to said passage so as to cause the stems to drop out due to gravity and centrifugal force, permitting the stem free tobacco to be pulled upwardly toward the said suction blower, and perforated rotors interposed in said closed circuit above said chute so that said chute intersects the rotors in a series of segments of circles bridging the width of said chute to permit the return of the air to the blower while accumulating the tobacco on the rotors under sides and means for discharging said tobacco for further formation into a rod.
2. A cigarette rod former comprising a source of supply of tobacco, a tobacco feeding belt for supporting and propelling said tobacco forwardly, a carding drum for extracting a predetermined quantity of tobacco from said supply, a refuser drum rejecting any excess tobacco from said carding drum, a picker roller to pick tobacco from said carding drum, a suction blower to propel, in close circuit, the tobacco that has been picked from said carded drum, a passage to receive the propelled tobacco, a substantially vertical chute located at an acute angle to said passage so as to cause the stems to drop out due to gravity and centrifugal force, permitting the stern free tobacco to be pulled upwardly toward the said suction blower, an air lock for stem extraction, a stem box to receive the stems dropped out and perforated rotors interposed above said substantially vertical chute in said closed circuit to permit the return of the air to the blower while accumulating the tobacco on the rotors under sides and means for discharging said tobacco for further formation into a rod.
3. A cigarette rod former comprising a source of supply of tobacco, a tobacco feeding belt for supporting and propelling said tobacco forwardly, a carding drum for extracting a predetermined quantity of tobacco from said supply, a refuser drum rejecting any excess tobacco from said carding drum, a picker roller to pick tobacco from said carding drum, a suction blower to propel, in close circuit, the tobacco that has been picked from said carded drum, a passage to receive the propelled tobacco, rotor members, a substantially vertical chute located at an acute angle to said passage so as to cause the stems to drop out due to gravity and centrifugal force, permitting the stem free tobacco to be pulled upwardly toward said rotor members located above said chute, an air lock for stem extraction, a stem box receive the stems dropped out, said chute intersecting said rotors in a series of segments of a circle so that tobacco is deposited by suction in thin layers on the underface of the segments of circles of said rotors and means for releasing said tobacco from said rotors for further formation into a rod.
4. A cigarette rod former comprising a source of supply of tobacco, a tobacco feeding belt for supporting and propelling said tobacco forwardly, a carding drum for extracting a predetermined quantity of tobacco from said supply, a refuser drum rejecting any excess tobacco from said carding drum, a picker roller to pick tobacco from said carding drum, a suction blower to propel, in a closed circuit, the tobacco that has been picked from said carded drum, a passage to receive the propelled tobacco, a multiplicity of perforated rotors for collecting tobacco on the surface thereof by suction, a substantially vertical chute located at an acute angle to said passage so as to cause the stems to drop out due to gravity and centrifugal force when passing around said angle, and permitting the stern free tobacco to be pulled upwardly toward the said suction blower, said chute intersecting a portion of each one of said multiplicity of rotating perforated rotors to form a series of segments of circles in which segmental areas the tobacco is deposited on the underface of the rotors to be transported to the tobacco delivery point and ultimately to a common discharge station for receiving the tobacco so collected in a single stream.
5. A tobacco rod former comprising a plurality of successive perforate rotors, a source of tobacco fed to the underside of said rotors at one location, suction means for maintaining the tobacco against the underside of said rotors, means to rotate said rotors to transport the tobacco in thin layers to a second location, a collecting web located beneath said second location, scraping means to aid in the removal of the thin layers of tobacco from said rotors at said second location to deposit the layers on said collecting web in a plurality of thin layers superimposed one on the other to form a laminated tobacco rod.
6. An apparatus to build up a final cigarette filler comprising a circulation chamber, means to circulate tobacco laden air within the chamber, a multiplicity of suction rotors interposed in said circulation chamber in the path of said tobacco laden air to collect thin layers of tobacco by suction on the underside of each of said rotors in an annular band near the perimeter of each rotor, means to rotate each of said rotors to convey the thin layers of tobacco to locations inside the circulation chamber, air pressure hoods located at said locations to remove the thin layers of tobacco from each of said rotors, and a conveyor belt located under said pressure hoods and traveling at the same speed as the periphery of said rotors to receive said thin layers of tobacco dislodged by said pressure hoods from the lower face of each of said rotors to form a laminated final cigarette filler.
7. An apparatus to form a tobacco rod comprising an updraft of tobacco laden air, more than one rotating perforated rotor each having one side of its diameter located above said updraft to collect the tobacco on the undersurface of the rotor in a thin layer while allowing the air to pass therethrough, a pressure chamber located above the upper face of the other side of each rotors diameter to dislodge the thin layer of tobacco from the lower face of each rotor and a collecting belt to receive from said rotors said thin layers of tobacco superimposed one on the other to form a laminated tobacco rod filler.
8. A method of forming an interwoven tobacco mat comprising propelling tobacco laden air upwardly, interposing a laterally moving plurality of perforated surfaces in said tobacco laden air, felting the tobacco strands adjaceut said perforated surfaces by allowing the air to escape and depositing the tobacco strands at random on said perforated surfaces and removing said tobacco strands in one continuous mat from each of said perforated surfaces.
9. A tobacco rod forming mechanism comprising means to circulate air throughout a closed circuit, means for introducing substantially separate strands of tobacco into said air circuit, forming a tobacco shower, said means comprising an air lock device which separates the closed air circuit from the ambient air pressure in which the tobacco shower fed to the apparatus is formed, so that tobacco may be readily transferred from one zone to the other without the transfer of air under pressure.
10. Tobacco rod forming mechanism having the features provided for in claim 9 in which the air lock device comprises a rotating perforate drum on the surface of which strands of tobacco are collected from a tobacco shower by reason of suction applied inside the drum, and endless belt, a pair of rollers so positioned to cause one run of a belt to wrap around the tobacco carrying roller, the belt and rollers being driven so that the belt moves at the same speed as the roller, permitting the tobacco strands to move from one zone to another between the roller and the belt without permitting the-passage of air therethrough, a stationary shoe arranged inside the drum to cut off the suction in the zone where it is desired to release the tobacco strands into the air current, and a substantially air tight casing over that portion of the perforate roller between the zone of strand delivery and the Zone of strand pick-up.
11. Apparatus for forming and feeding a cigarette rod filler comprising a source of supply of a continuous measured shower of tobacco, a passage-way along which said shower of tobacco is pneumatically conveyed, means formed in said passage-way for effecting a removal of abnormally heavy bodies from said shower of tobacco as it is pneumatically conveyed through said passage-way, a plurality of rotating perforated disk members mounted to rotate in a plane transverse to the direction of movement of said pneumatically conveyed tobacco, said disks being positioned to have one portion thereof travel across the path of said pneumatically conveyed tobacco so as to pick up on the surface of said disks a uniform layer of shredded tobacco, an enclosure through which a portion of said disks rotate and means for releasing the suction from said disks when rotating through said enclosure to discharge the tobacco shreds supported on the surface of said disks, and a collecting device for receiving the tobacco shreds so discharged from each of said disks.
12. Apparatus for metering and gathering shredded tobacco into a stream of substantially constant uniform cross section along its length and transferring it to an endless tape comprising cylinders having perforated peripheries and arranged with their axes in substantially parallel formation, a drive for rotating each cylinder in a direction opposite to that immediately adjacent thereto so that the contiguous peripheral surfaces move together at substantially equal velocities, stationary shoes arranged inside each cylinder to control the air movement through the perforated peripheries by blocking them at suitable positions to ensure that the tobacco mat formed on each cylinder is transferred successively to the adjoining cylinder at the points of tangency, the last cylinder transferring the completed laminated tobacco mat onto an endless tape for formation into a cigarette rod.
13. Apparatus for forming an elongated stream of constantly uniform cigarette rod density comprising a plurality of perforated suction cylinders, along which shredded tobacco is serially passed, a swinging support for each cylinder, suction cut oil mean acting on said cylinders to stop suction for a portion of the rotation of said cylinders to facilitate removal of tobacco therefrom, means resiliently urging said cylinders toward the final fixed cylinder in order that a constant pressure may be maintained where each stream is superimposed on the preceding stream to provide a final composite stream.
14. Apparatus for forming an elongated stream of constantly uniform cigarette rod comprising, a plurality of perforated cylinders provided with suitable circumferential grooves to accommodate the tobacco stream deposited thereon, suction cut ofi means acting on said cylinders to stop suction for a portion of the rotation of said cylinders to facilitate removal of tobacco therefrom, the outside diameter of each cylinder touching the outside diameter of its neighboring cylinder so that the pressure applied to the tobacco streams being united is determined solely by the dimensions of the circumferential grooves and the amount of tobacco deposited thereon.
15. Apparatus for forming an elongated tobacco stream of cigarette rod density comprising a plurality of rotors having perforated suction holding surfaces, means supporting and driving said rotors to pick up tobacco on the surfaces thereof and to progressively transfer the tobacco so picked up from one of said rotors to the next rotor, a high speed rotating picker suitably spaced from the surface of the last rotor to remove any unevenness from the top surface of the accumulated tobacco stream, and an endless tape for receiving said tobacco from the last rotor to convey the same through the rod forming mechanism of a cigarette making machine.
16. Apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein an air stream is provided for delivering showered tobacco to said rotors and means are provided for returning the excess tobacco removed by said picker back to said air stream.
17. A tobacco rod forming mechanism comprising means for circulating air through a closed circuit, means for separating stems from tobacco strands, a device for introducing substantially separate strands of said tobacco into said fluid circuit, a plurality of rotatable perforate members interposed in said circuit in such a manner that they do not materially interfere with the flow of air around the circuit but do intercept the tobacco strands whereby they are adapted to be held on said perforate members by suction and to be built up in the form of a mat on said perforate members, means for rotating said perforate members to transport said mat from the zone of mat formation to a discharge zone and means for dis charging the mat for further formation into a rod of substantially cigarette size cross section.
18. A cigarette rod former comprising a source of supply of tobacco, a tobacco feeding belt for supporting and propelling said tobacco forwardly, a carding drum for extracting a perdetermined quantity of tobacco from said supply, a refuser drum rejecting any excess tobacco from said carding drum, a picker roller to pick tobacco from said ending drum, a suction blower to propel, in closed circuit, the tobacco that has been picked from said carded drum and to permit separation of the lamina and the stem and perforated rotors interposed in said closed circuit to permit the return of the air to the blower while accumlating the tobacco on one side of said rotors and means to discharge said tobacco for further formation into a rod.
19. Apparatus for collecting a stream of tobacco to be formed into a cigarette rod comprising a source of showered tobacco, means for separating the lamina from the stems, a vertically arranged chute, a source of suction for conveying said showered tobacco upwardly in said chute, perforated rotors mounted to have part of the rotor rotating in said chute, a source of suction for causing air to flow through the perforations of said rotor to cause tobacco to be picked up on the portion of the surface thereof which rotates in said chute, means for terminating said suction at a predetermined portion of the path of travel of each of said rotors to effect a release of tobacco therefrom, and a collecting device for receiving the tobacco discharged from said rotors for forming said discharged tobacco into a cigarette rod.
20. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19, and having means for blowing air through the perforations by means of air pressure from a suitable source of supply to discharge the tobacco from said rotors.
21. A cigarette making machine comprising a source of supply of tobacco, a feed for feeding said tobacco at a predetermined rate, means for separating the lamina from the stems, a blower for circulating the tobacco through the cigarette machine, perforated rotors interposed in the path of circulation to pick up the tobacco by suction at one location, means for rotating the rotors to move the tobacco to another location while allowing the air to pass through said rotors, and means for leasing said tobacco.
22. The method of forming a layered tobacco rod comprising continuously feeding cut tobacco, moving a stream of air in a closed circuit for circulating said tobacco, limiting the amount of tobacco fed to said air stream, removing stems from the lamina by gravity and centrifugal force, and conveying the lamina by said stream of air, intercepting the tobacco in this layer at more than one location while allowing the stream of air to pass and removing said thin layers from the closed circuit and collecting said thin layers one superimposed on the other to form a layered tobacco rod.
23. A method for forming a uniform tobacco rod com prising removing the tobacco lamina from the stems, causing an updraft of tobacco laden air, continuously intercepting tobacco in said updraft and collecting the tobacco in uniform thin layers, removing the tobacco layers from the area of collection and depositing them one layer superimposed on the other and removing the tobacco layers at the same speed as the layers are removed from the collection area.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,755,080 Schunemann Apr. 15, 1930 1,879,016 Austin Sept. 27, 1932 1,984,980 Muller Dec. 18, 1934 2,050,765 Rundell Aug. 11, 1936 2,162,443 Muller June 13, 1939