US 3062357 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
3 Sheets-Sheet l Filed OCb. 24, 1958 Nov. 6, 1962 D. w. MoLlNs CIGARETTE-MAKING MACHINERY Filed Oct. 24, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY BY www, gf, gw/ q www Nov. 6, 1962 D. w. MoLlNs CIGARETTE-MAKING MACHINERY 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Oct. 24, 1958 United States Patent Oiice 3,062,357 Patented Nov. 6, 1962 3,062,357 CIGARETTE-MAKING MACHINERY Desmond Walter Molins, Deptford, London, England,
assignor to Molins Machine Company Limited, London, England, a British company Filed ct. 24, 1958, Ser. N 769,482 Claims priority, application Great Britain Nov. 7, 1957 1 Claim. (Cl. 198-57) This invention concerns improvements in or relating to cigarette-making machinery in which cut tobacco is supplied to a hopper in which it is distributed over a moving surface such as that of a carded drum.
According to the present invention there is provided in a cigarette-making machine having a tobacco hopper, means to supply cut tobacco to the hopper, said means comprising a tobacco container which includes a movable conveyor system arranged to support and confine tobacco in the container, diiierent tobacco-engaging parts of said conveyor system being guided for movement in different directions so as to have a ystirring or turning action on the tobacco engaged thereby, said conveyor system having tobacco-engaging projections arranged to carry tobacco out of the container and deposit it in the hopper.
One of the said parts may form at least part of the base of the container, while another of said parts forms an upwardly travelling wall by which tobacco is carried upwardly out of the container. The said conveyor system may comprise a single endless conveyor band guided in the said different directions.
The said tobacco-engaging projections may be formed as ribs attached to the said conveyor system and arranged transversely of its length and forming with said conveyor system pockets by which short tobacco particles which fall to the bottom .of the tobacco in said container are carried out of the container together with the longer tobacco particles. The said ribs may extend as single pieces across substantially the whole width of the said conveyor system, and may have serrated edges whereby the longer tobacco is engaged and drawn out of the container.
The apparatus may comprise a rotatable member mounted within the container and arranged to be rotated so as to cooperate with the said conveyor system in stirring or turning the tobacco. The apparatus may :further comprise detector means in the hopper to detect the quantity of tobacco therein, and means responsive to said detector means to vary the speed of movement of the said conveyor system, and may further comprise driving means to drive the said conveyor system at a predetermined speed, and additional driving means responsive to said detector means to increase the speed `of the conveyor system when the quantity of tobacco in the hopper is insuflicient. The rst said driving means may be arranged to drive the said conveyor system through a free wheel device.
Further according to the invention there is provided in a cigarette-making machine having a tobacco hopper, means to supply cut tobacco to the hopper, said means comprising a tobacco container which includes an endless movable conveyor band, part of said band being so disposed as to support tobacco in the container, and another part being guided for upward movement and arranged to form a wall of the container, said conveyor being provided on its tobacon-engaging surface with rib-like projections which, together with the said surface, form pockets by which short tobacco particles which fall to the bottom of the tobacco in the container are carried upwardly by the said upwardly moving part of the conveyor, said projections being also arranged to engage long tobacco and carry it upwardly, the conveyor being -so disposed that its upwardly moving part carries tobacco out of the container and deposits it in the hopper. The said projections may have serrated edges to engage long tobacco and draw it out of the container, which latter may be positioned directly above the hopper.
Still further according to the invention there is provided in a cigarette-making machine having a tobacco hopper, means to supply cut tobacco to the hopper, comprising a conveyor system to remove tobacco from a supply and deposit it in the hopper, driving means to drive the said conveyor system continuously at a relatively low speed, detector means to detect the quantity of tobacco in the hopper, and additional driving means responsive to said detector means to increase the speed of the conveyor systern when the quantity of tobacco in the hopper is insuicient. The first said driving means may be arranged to drive the conveyor system through a free-wheel device.
Apparatus in accordance with the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a sectional side elev-ation of part of a ci garette-making machine including a hopper,
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary front view of a conveyor associated with the hopper,
FIGURE 3 is a sectional View of the conveyor shown in FlGURE 2,
FIGURE 4 shows the driving arrangements for the apparatus, and
FIGURE 5 shows a detail of the driving arrangements.
Referring rst to FIGURE l, a carded conveyor drum 1 is arranged to rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow. A brushing roller 2 located close to the drum 1 rotates in the direction shown by the arrow so as to brush surplus tobacco rearwardly from the drum. A sloping wall or chute 3 extends downwardly close to the surface of the drum 1. Side walls i cooperate with the surfaces of the drum 1, the brushing roller 2 and the back wall 3 to define a tobacco hopper. A rotating member S acts to remove and return to the hopper any tobacco carried upwardly -by the brushing roller 2, while brushes 6 beneath the wall 3 bear against the surface of the carded drum 1 to clean it.
A picker roller 7 provided with pins 8 and arranged to rotate at high speed over a curved guide plate 9 acts to pick tobacco from the carding of the lconveyor drum 1 and to project it over the plate 9. The tobacco so picked may be fed by an air stream towards a perforated conveyor band so as to be formed into a filler in the manner disclosed in the complete specification and -drawings of U.S. patent appln. Serial No. 738,805, now Patent No. 3,030,- 965 or alternatively may be showered or otherwise fed on to a travelling conveyor band so as to be formed in a ller in a conventional manner, but the way in which the picked tobacco is dealt with is not illustrated in the present drawings since it is not material to the present invention.
`Directly above the hopper is a tobacco container, generally indicated by the reference 10. This includes a movable endless conveyor band 11 which is guided for movement, in a manner shortly to be described, so that different parts of the band which engage tobacco in the container move in dierent directions. That is to say, a part 11a forms par-t of the base of the container and supports tobacco, while a part 11b moves upwardly and forms a wall of the container.
The band 11 is Wide enough to extend over substantially the whole length of the conveyor drum 1, and is enclosed between the side walls d and further side walls 12 which overlap and form continuations of the walls 4. A rear wall 13 slopes downwardly towards the part 11a of the conveyor band 11. Thus the container 1t] is defined by the parts 11a and 11b ot' the band 11, the rear wall 13, and the side walls 4 and 12.
A wall or chute 14 in front of the band 11 extends downwardly towards the wall 3 to guide tobacco towards the latter as it is carried out of the container by the band 11. Magnets are disposed above the band 11 to extract from the tobacco any foreign bodies of a magnetic nature which may be present in the tobacco carried by the band 11.
Within the container and adjacent the upper portion of the upwardly moving part 11b of the band 11 is a roller 16 mounted on a shaft 16a and having ribs 17 and arranged to rotate as shown, so as to brush back into the container any excess tobacco which may be carried upwardly by the band. A similar roller 18 mounted on a shaft 18a is positioned in the lower part of the container and rotated as shown by the arrow, FIGURE l.
The conveyor band 11 is carried by chains 19 (see FIGURES 2 and 3) alternate links of which have lateral projections 20, to which are bolted bars 21, extending from one chain to the other, and separated from the projections 26 by spacing blocks 22. The band 11 is secured to the bars 21 by rivets 23 which also serve to fasten to the band a number of ribs or rib-like projections 24 extending across the width of the band 11. These projections are arranged to extend obliquely away from the band 11 as shown in FIGURES 1 and 3, thereby forming, together with the surface of the band, long pockets or troughs 25. The free edges of the projections or ribs 24 are provided with serrations or teeth 26, see FIGURE 2.
The chains 19 pass over pairs of sprockets 27, 28, 29 and (see FIGURES l and 4) and are driven in a manner which will be described later with particular reference to FIGURE 4. It will, however, be seen from the above description that the conveyor band 11 is guided for movement in different directions by means of the chains 19 and sprockets 27-30.
Located above the carded drum 1 within the hopper is a roller 31 (FIGURES l and 4) provided with ribs 32, and mounted for rotation at one end of a pair of arms 33 which are pivoted at 34 to enable the roller 31 to move up and down. Secured to one of the arms 33 is a projection 35 provided with a cam face 36, which latter engages a roller 37 on a pivoted arm 3S. 'The arm 3S is arranged to actuate a micro-switch 39 in certain circumstances, as will be described later, in order to alter the speed at which the conveyor band 11 is driven. The roller 31 is so positioned as to be capable of resting on the tobacco which is supported on the surface of the carded drum 1, and the arrangement by which the arms 33 which support the roller are pivoted, the roller can move up or down according to the quantity of tobacco beneath it at any time. Thus the roller 31 constitutes detector-means within the hopper to detect the quantity of i tobacco therein, and acts, as will be described, through the cam-face 36, arm 3S and micro-switch 39 to vary the rate at which tobacco is supplied to the hopper by the band 11. The arms 33 are urged upwardly by a spring 4t) so as partially to counterbalance the weight of the roller 31.
The driving arrangements are shown in FIGURE 4.
Two separate motors are provided for driving the chains 19 by which the band 11 is moved; a main motor 41, which drives continuously, and an additional motor 42 is actuated at times by the micro-switch 39 and then drives the chains 19 at a faster speed than that at which they are driven by the motor 41.
The continuous drive from the motor 41 is effected through a variable speed gear indicated at 43, to which the motor is connected by a drive belt 44. The variable speed gear 43 is of a known kind which is described in British patent specication No. 618,774. The drive is transmitted through belts 45 and 46 and gears 47, 48 and 49 to a large gear wheel Sil xed to the carded drum 1. The gear wheel 5) drives a gear 51 to which is secured a sprocket 52 driving a chain 53. The chain 53 drives a sprocket 54 to which is connected a pulley driving a belt 55 by which the roller 31 is rotated. The chain 53 also drives a sprocket 56, which is coupled by a freei wheel device, see FIGURE 5, to one of the sprockets 3G so as to drive the sprockets 30 and thereby the chains 19.
The brushing roller 2 is driven by means of a chain 57 passing around a sprocket 58 connected to the gear 5() and a further sprocket 59 connected to the roller 2.
As stated above, the chains 19 are driven continuously through the free Wheel device coupling the sprocket 56 and one of the sprockets 30, except when the additional ino-tor 42 is actuated by the micro-switch 39. When this occurs, the drive from the motor 42 is transmitted by means of a shaft 60 driven by the motor 42 rotating a sprocket 61, which by a chain 62 drives a sprocket 63. The latter is coupled by a free Wheel device, similar to that previously mentioned and illustrated in FIGURE 5, to a smaller sprocket 64, which is connected by a chain to a s rocket 66 which rotates with one of the sprockets 29. The speed of the motor 42, and the driving arrangements coupling the motor to the sprocket 29, are such that the motor 42, when actuated, causes the chains 19 to be driven at a faster speed than that imparted to them by the motor 41. Accordingly the sprocket 30 ceases to be driven through the sprocket 56 but due to the free wheel device is free to rotate faster than the sprocket 56, which continues to rotate at its normal speed.
The small sprocket 64 is fixed on the spindle 16a of the ribbed roller :16 and is normally driven through the chain 65 and sprocket 66 from a chain 19 driving a sprocket 29. This is possible because of the above-mentioned free wheel device coupling the sprockets 63 and 64. When the motor 42 is actuated, however, the sprocket 64 is driven by the sprocket 63.
A further motor causes rotation .of the picker roller 7 and the element 5 (FIGURE l) by belt drives 71 and 72 respectively.
The sprockets 36 are supported by arms 73 (FIGURE l) pivoted at 74 so as to be capable of being turned about their pivots in order to adjust the tension in the chains 19.
FIGURE 5 illustrates the free-wheel device coupling the sprockets 30 and 56. This is a known device and it is suicient to say that the drive from the motor 41 through the sprocket S6, FIGURE 1, is transmitted by pivoted pawls 75I carried by the sprocket 56 and ratchet teeth 76 carried by the sprocket 30. Thus when the sprocket 30 is driven by the motor 42 at the faster speed, the teeth 7 6 slip beneath the pawls 75.
The operation of the apparatus is as follows.
Tobacco is supplied to the container 10, by hand or in any other suitable manner, and is supported therein by the part 11a of the band 11, which part forms the base of the container.
The motor 41 imparts a continuous drive to the carded drum 1, brushing roller 2, and the ribbed rollers 16 and 18, as well as to the chains 19 which carry the conveyor band 11.
The band 11 is thus moved, in the direction indicated by the arrows, FIGURE l, and is guided by the sprockets 27-36 so that the two parts 11a and 11b, which are in engagement with tobacco in the container, move in different directions-that is, the part 11a moves in a downwardly sloping direction while the part 11b moves upwards. The ribs or projections 24 on the band engage the tobacco and carry part of it along, and due to the change in direction of the band, this imparts a somewhat rotary turning motion to the mass of tobacco in the container. This stirring action is assisted by the ribbed roller 18, which rotates in such a direction that the ribs on its surface move in opposition to the movement of the band 11.
This turning and stirring of the tobacco mass is believed to tend to cause short tobacco particles (commonly known as shorts) to become intermingled with long tobacco and fairly well distributed in the tobacco mass. At the same time, shorts which fall to the bottom of the container (as they tend to do) are trapped in the pockets 25 formed by the projections 24, and are thus carried along by the projections and conveyed upwardly by the part 11b of the band 11. At the same time, longer tobacco is seized by the serrated edges of the ribs 24 and are conveyed upwardly thereby together with the shorts. Any excess tobacco carried upwardly in this way tends to be brushed back into the container by the ribs 17 of the rotating roller 16.
The tobacco so carried upwardly is allowed to drop from the band 11 and projections 24 against the chute 14, which guides it down to the back wall 3 of the hopper so that it can be deposited on the upper carded surface of the drum 1. The drum 1 continuously removes tobacco from the hopper, to be picked from the carding by the picker 7, and it is desirable, in order that a satisfactory layer or carpet of tobacco should be formed on the card drurn, that the tobacco present in the hopper at any time should not exceed or fall below a certain quantity found suitable for this purpose. The feed of tobacco into the hopper is therefore regulated by means of the detector roller 31, which rests on the tobacco supported by the drum 1, and rises and falls in accordance with the quantity of tobacco beneath it.
The chains 19 are driven by the motor 41 at a speed somewhat less than that required for the band 11 to maintain an adequate supply of tobacco to the hopper during normal running of the cigarette-making machine. Accordingly (assuming that the tobacco in the hopper is initially at a sufficient level) the detector roller 31 gradually falls as the tobacco level in the hopper falls, causing the arms 33 to turn counter-clockwise about their pivots so that the cam face 36 on the projection 35 allows the arrn 38 to swing clockwise under suitable spring pressure. When the roller 31 has fallen to a predetermined level the arm 37 is enabled to swing to an extent such as to actuate the micro-switch 39, thus starting up the motor 42. This causes the chains 19 to be overdriven as explained above, and thus the band 11 travels at the faster speed and supplies tobacco to the hopper at a suitably increased rate, until the roller 31 has been raised to a height such that the micro-switch is actuated to stop the motor 42.
This method of regulating the supply of tobacco to the hopper has the advantage that the conveyor system, that is, the band 11 and chains 19, is continuously driven and only has to be speeded up when more tobacco is required, whereas if for example, the band 11 were arranged to be started and stopped according to the requirements of the hopper, a considerable load would be imposed on the driving motor each time the feed band had to be started. The method described is simple and convenient and avoids not only the disadvantages of intermittent driving but also the complication of variable speed driving mechanism.
The roller 31, which is rotated in the direction shown by the arrow in the manner described above, has the further function of imparting a turning or rolling motion to the tobacco in the hopper, which therefore tends to form a roll between the drum 1, the brushing roller 2, and the roller 31.
The band 11 is driven at a fairly high speed in order to stir the tobacco vigorously, and the ribs or projections 24 are therefore made small, as shown, so that each row of teeth 26 can take up only a relatively small quantity of long tobacco.
It will further be appreciated that by the provision of a ribbed endless conveyor band 11 which forms the base of the tobacco container and also moves upwardly to carry tobacco out of the container, shorts which fall to the bottom of the container have no opportunity of accumulating there but are trapped in the pockets 25 formed by the ribs 24 and promptly carried out of the container together with the longer tobacco. This greatly assists in effecting a good distribution or mixing of shorter with longer tobacco, thus enabling the shorts to be incorporated fairly uniformly in the tobacco from which the tobacco filler is formed.
What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
In a cigarette-making machine having a tobacco hopper, means to supply cut tobacco to the hopper comprising a single conveyor system to remove tobacco from a supply and deposit it in the hopper, first driving means, a first driving connection including a freewheel between said first driving means and said conveyor system, said first driving means and said first driving connection being continuously operable, second driving means, a second driving connection including a freewheel between said second driving means and said conveyor system, detector means to detect the quantity of tobacco in the hopper and operatively connected to said second driving means to render said driving means operative when the quantity of tobacco in the hopper is reduced below a predetermined level and inoperative when the quantity of tobacco in the hopper is above a predetermined level, the speeds of the first and second driving means being respectively less and greater than that necessary to maintain constant the quantity of tobacco in the hopper whereby, when the second driving means is operative, the conveyor system overruns the first driving means and first driving connection and when the second driving means is inoperative it is overrun by the conveyor system.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,501,622 Ruau July 13, 1924 1,736,517 Baker Nov. 19, 1929 1,779,720 Wood Oct. 28, 1930 2,162,443 Muller June 13, 1939 2,510,927 Huyett June 6, 1950 2,810,469 Bogaty Oct. 22, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 266,505 Germany V .v Oct. 27, 1913