US 3303926 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
CIGARETTE COLLECTOR Filed July 8, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ERNEST E. POHL.
f I l f ATTO NEY 2, Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 8, 1965 FIG.3
W RP rw m /m N 1 E 0 VB T N T I United States Patent 3,303,926 CIGARETTE CGLLECTOR Ernest E. Pohi, Cape Coral, Fla., assignor to American Machine & Foundry Company, a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 8, 1965, Ser. No. 470,406 8 (llaims. (Cl. 198-211) This invention relates to collector and transfer mechanisms and more particularly, it concerns such a mechanism for collecting and transferring cigarettes as they are delivered from a high speed cigarette making machine.
In US. Patent No. 3,039,606 issued June 19, 1962 to George Dearsley, there is disclosed a cigarette collector and transfer mechanism by which cigarettes delivered at high rates of speeds from a cigarette making machine in longitudinally aligned fashion are collected and transferred by suction heads mounted on a rotatable turret or cage for movement in an orbital path tangential to the lineal path of cigarette feed and at the same linear or tangential velocity. The suction heads are mounted for rotation relative to the turret in such a manner that the longitudinal axes of the cigarettes picked up are retained in parallelism as the suction heads moves through their orbital paths to a receiving mechanism to which the cigarettes are transferred for transverse delivery and further processing and/ or packaging. The collection and transfer arrangement thus described in the aforementioned patent has been found particularly desirable in high speed operation since the cigarettes undergo principally an angular and thus gradual deceleration during conversion from longitudinal to transverse feeding motion. This gradual deceleration is important from the standpoint of avoiding a disturbance or shifting of the tobacco throughout the cigarette.
The collection and transfer mechanism of the present invention is similar to that shown in the aforementioned US. patent from the standpoint of developing a generally arcuate path without changing the axial orientation of the cigarettes in space during transfer from longitudinal to transverse feed. In accordance with the present invention however, an additional component of acceleration and deceleration is imparted to the cigarette pick-up heads as they approach the longiudinally fed cigarettes and the transverse feed mechanism, respectively. Generally, this feature is accomplished by mounting the cigarette pick-up heads for movement in an epicycloidal path correlated with respective cigarette pick-up and delivery stations in such a manner that the heads achieve maximum linear velocity at the pick-up station and decelerate to minimum velocity at the delivery station. This movement of the transfer heads is accomplished by mounting the heads on hollow crank pins each journalled eccentrically in planet members which roll about the periphery of a sun member. The crank pins are coupled to means for retaining their axial orientation and a vacuum source is connected through the hollow pins to the cigarette pick-up heads during their travel between the cigarette pick-up station and the cigarette delivery station.
It is therefore, a principal object of this invention to provide a cigarette collection and transfer mechanism which operates to pick up longitudinally aligned cigarettes delivered from a cigarette making machine, the pick-up speed being slightly in excess of the rate of linear cigarette feed, and then gradually decelerate the rate of cigarette movement during transfer thereof from the pick-up station to a delivery station at which the direction of cigarette feed is relative to their longitudinal axes is changed from longitudinal to lateral.
Another object of this invention is to provide a collection and transfer mechanism of the type referred to which operates to effect a fast pick-up and a slow delivery.
Still another object of this invention is the provision of a high speed collection and transfer mechanism by which cigarettes delivered by a cigarette making machine are picked up at a greater linear velocity than that at which they are delivered for transfer to lateral movement.
A further object of this invention is to provide a collection and transfer mechanism of the type referred to having means to contact, hold, and convey cigarettes on their longitudinal surfaces and thus prevent disturbing the even distribution of tobacco within the cigarettes.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved means for collecting and transferring cigarettes which eliminates sudden stops or arrests of cigarette motion during the pick-up and transfer operation.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a mechanism for collecting and transporting cigarettes without damaging the cigarettes.
Further objects and scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of the cigarette collection and transfer mechanisms of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary rear view of the mechanism shown in FIG. 1 with portions broken away to illustrate the internal drive components thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and adding certain drive components.
In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the cigarette collection and transfer mechanism of this invention includes a support in the form of a frame or housing 10 on which a non-rotatable stub shaft 12 is mounted in the manner most clearly shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings. A pair of ball bearings 14 spaced on the shaft 12 provide support for a rotatable turret or cage 16 having an annular gear member 18 secured to the rearward hub portion thereof. The gear 18 meshes with an intermediate gear 20 in turn driven by a gear 22 fixed on a shaft 24 rotatably supported by a suitable bearing bracket 26 secured to the housing It The end of the shaft opposite from the gear 22 is keyed to a bevel gear 28 in mesh with another bevel gear 30 keyed to a shaft 32. The shaft 32, which constitutes the primary source of driving torque for operating the embodiment of the ci arette collector and transfer mechanism shown in the drawings, is connected to and driven in synchronism with the main drive of the cigarette machine (not shown) with which the mechanism of this invention is used.
A relatively large stationary sun gear 34 is keyed to the free end of the stub shaft 12 and meshes with a plurality (six in the embodiment shown) of planet assemblies including gears 36 symmetrically disposed about the axis of the shaft 12. Each of the planet gears 36 is formed having a cylindrical body portion or hub 38 journalled by suitable bearings 40 in equally spaced cylindrical bores provided in the turret 16. The cylindrical body portion or hub 38 of each planet gear 36 carries a rotatable hollow crank pin 42 located eccentrically or spaced radially from the rotational axis of the planet established by the bearings 40. The rear end of the crank pin 42 carries an integral gear 44 in the embodiment shown whereas a stud clamp 46 retains a suitably shaped cigarette pick-up bar or head 48 at the other end of the crank pin. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the pick-up bar 48 is provided with a plurality of pick-up lugs 50 each of which is formed having an arcuate pick-up surface 52. Each lug 50 is further characterized as having one or more holes or air passages 54 opening at one end to the arcuate pick-up surfaces 52 and in communication at their other end with a transverse duct or manifold 56 formed in the pick-up bar 48. The manifold 56 communicates with the forward open end of the hollow crank pin 42 which in turn communicates at its rearward open end to a recess 54 provided in the rear face of the gear 44. It Will be noted at this point that the gear 44 is in mesh with an internal ring gear 57 non-rotatably fixed to the turret 16, one such gear 57 being located in each of the cylindrical openings in which the planets 36 are located. The function of the gear 44 and cooperating ring gear 57 will become more apparent from the description to follow below.
The rear face of the turret 16 is covered by a disc shaped vacuum shield 58 secured to the turret by suitable means such as screws 60. Secured to the rear wall of the housing is an annular member 62 extending to- Ward and making sliding contact with the shield 58. The annular member 62 is arranged in concentricity with the stub shaft 12, and thus the axis of turret rotation, and is formed with an arcuate channel 64 in the front face thereof which as indicated, slidably engages the vacuum shield 58. The channel 64 as shown in FIG. 1, extends from a point beneath the shaft 12 through approximately 90 in a clockwise direction again as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. Formed in the lower portion of the annular member 62 is an axial duct 66 opening at its forward end into the channel 64. The duct 66 extends to the rear face of the annular member and at that point is connected to a suitable source of vacuum or suction (not shown) by means of a tube 68.
The vacuum shield 58 carried by the turret 16 is provided with a plurality of spaced holes or apertures 70, one for each of the planet assemblies including the gears 36. The holes 70 are spaced radially from the shaft 12 or the axis of turret rotation by a distance such that they coincide with the are along which the channel 64 of the annular member 62 extends. Further, the holes or apertures 70 are positioned so that they communicate at all times with the respective recesses 54 in the rear face of each gear 44 regardless of the position of the gear 44 within its permitted degree of movement. Hence, it will be appreciated that the holes 54 opening to the arcuate pick-up surfaces on the cigarette pick-up lugs 50 are in communication with a source of vacuum connected to the tube 68 so long as the apertures 70 in the vacuum shield 58 coincide or register with the channel 64 in the annular member 62. Conversely, the influence of the vacuum at the arcuate pick-up surfaces 52 will be released when the aperture 70 for any given planet assembly moves out of registry with the channel 64. Moreover, it will be noted that the lower end of the arcuate channel 64 is located at a pick-up station P whereas the upper end of the channel 64 is located at a delivery station D to be described in more detail in the description of the operation of the mechanism to follow.
Positioned forwardly of the turret 16 and at the pickup station P is a cigarette delivery channel along which cigarettes formed in a cigarette making machine (not shown) are delivered in tandem along a linear path at high rates of speed. At the delivery station D, is located a rotatable cigarette receiving drum 74 having stripper fingers 75 and axial grooves 76. The drum 74 functions to initiate transverse feed of cigarettes for further processing and/or packaging.
The manner in which the cigarette collection and transfer mechanism of this invention operates to pick up cigarettes C from the delivery channel 72 and transfer them to the receiving drum 74 will now be explained. Since the drive shaft 32 is connected to and operated in synchronism with the cigarette making machine (not shown) the turret 16 will be caused to rotate about the stub shaft 12 by gears 18, 20, 22, 28 and 30 in a clockwise direction as shown in FIG. 1, or in the direction of the arrow T so long as cigarettes are being fed along the delivery chute 72. As a result of turret rotation, the planet assemblies including the planet gears 36 are carried in a circular orbit about the stationary sun gear 34 and thereby caused to rotate about their own respective axes. Further, the crank pins 42, being eccentric With respect to the axes of each planet assembly, will move in an orbit about the axis of each planet, which movement is superimposed on the planet orbital movement about the sun gear 34. More precisely, the overall movement of the crank pins 42 will develop an epicycloidal path. Since the pick-up bars or heads 48 are fixed to the crank pins 42 they also will travel in an epicycloidal path but because of the gear portion 44 of the crank pins engaging the ring gears 57, the axial orientation of the pick-up bars 48 will remain the same or in parallelism as they move about the axis of turret rotation.
An important feature of the present invention resides in the particular orientation of the epicycloidal path taken by the pick-up bars relative to the pick-up station P and the delivery station D. Specifically, and as shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, as each of the pick-up bars 48 approach the pick-up station P, the crank pins 42 are moving to their maximum radial distance from the axis of the shaft 12. As a result, the linear velocity of the crank pin as a result of planet rotation at this point is added to the linear velocity of turret rotation or planet orbital motion. It is contemplated that the linear speed achieved by the pick-up bars 48 at the pick-up station P will substantially exceed the linear velocity at which the cigarettes C are fed along the delivery chute 72. As the pick-up bars 48 are moved toward the delivery station D, the crank pins move, again by virtue of planet rotation, to their minimum radial distance from the shaft 12. At this point, the linear velocity due to planet rotation about its own axis is in a direction opposite to that of turret rotation. Consequently, the resultant speed of the bars 48 will be approximately the linear speed of the turret minus the linear velocity of crank pin travel about the axis of the planets. Hence, the velocity of cigarette movement at the delivery station is slowed down to a rate only slightly in excess of the speed at which they are delivered by the drum 74.
Each pick-up bar 48 picks up two cigarettes C as a result of the arcuate pick-up surfaces 52 on the pick-up lugs 50 being subjected to vacuum during movement of the respective bars from the pick-up station P to the delivery station D. Hence, the cigarettes C will be engaged solely on their longitudinal outer surfaces during this transfer movement. As the aperture 70 in the vacuum shield 58 moves out of registry with the arcuate channel 64 at the delivery station, the vacuum is released thereby permitting a delicate transfer of the cigarettes from the pick-up bars 48 to the delivery drum 74. The stripper fingers are so arranged as to keep the cigarettes in the drum 74 and the pick-up bar continues empty to the cigarette delivery channel 72 to pick up two new cigarettes for transfer to the drum 74.
As illustrated in FIG. 1, the path of the cigarettes carried by the pickup bars at contact with the drum 74 is almost straight and therefore prevents rubbing against the stripper fingers 75. In order to properly position the arced suction channel 64 in member 62 to obtain the desired suction cut-off at the cigarette delivery point the rear wall of housing 10 to which the cylindrical member 62 is mounted may be provided with suitable arced slots to permit such adjustment.
Thus it will be appreciated that by this invention there is provided an improved cigarette collector and transfer mechanism by which the above-mentioned objectives are completely fulfilled. The increased linear velocity developed in the pick-up bars 48 at the pick-up station P assures that there will be no jamming of the cigarettes in the delivery chute 72. To the contrary, the excess speed of the bars at this point in their travel will effect an axial separation of the cigarettes during pick-up. Yet, because of the gradual deceleration of the cigarettes in moving to the delivery station D, the original disposition of tobacco in the cigarettes is virtually undisturbed.
Since it will now be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications of the present invention m y be made without departing from the true spirit thereof, it is to be distinctly understood that the foregoing description is illustrative of a preferred embodiment only, not limiting, and that the true spirit and scope of the present invention is to be determined by reference to the accompanying claims.
The invention claimed is:
1. A Cigarette collection and transfer mechanism comprising: a support; a stationary sun gear fixed to said support; at least one rotatable planetary gear in engagement with said sun gear; a crank pin rotatably journalled in said planetary gear eccentric to the axis thereof; a pick-up head on said crank pin; means for moving said planetary gear in an orbital path about said sun gear to advance said crank pin in an epicycloidal path; means to maintain the axial orientation of said pick-up head in space during movement of said crank pin in said path; means defining a pick-up station to which cigarettes are fed longitudinally in a linear path; and means defining a delivery station to which cigarettes are transferred by said pick-up head, said pick-up station and said delivery station being spaced along said epicycloidal path'in a manner such that the linear velocity of said pick-up head exceeds the linear speed of cigarette feed at said pick-up station and slows down at said delivery station.
2. A cigarette collecting and transferring mechanism comprising: a housing; a stationary sun gear fixed to said housing; a rotatable turret journalled on said housing for rotation about said sun gear; a plurality of equally spaced planet assemblies carried rotatably in said turret, each of said planet assemblies including a planet gear, a crank pin journalled in said planet gear eccentric to the axis thereof, and a cigarette pickup head mounted on said crank pin; drive means including gearing adapted to be operably connected to a cigarette making machine and for rotating said turret to move said planet assemblies in an orbital path about said sun gear to advance said crank pin and said pick-up head in an epicycloidal path; means to maintain the axial orientation of said pick-up head in space during movement in said path; means defining a pick-up station to which cigarettes are fed longitudinally in tandem along a linear path from the cigarette making machine; means defining a delivery station to which cigarettes are transferred by said pickup head, said pick-up station and said delivery station, respectively being located on said epicycloidal path so that the linear speed of pick-up head movement is greater than the rate of cigarette feed to said pick-up station and 6 whereby the linear velocity of said pick-up head at said delivery station is less than that at said pick-up station; and suction means for retaining cigarettes against said pick-up head during travel between said pick-up station and said delivery station.
3. The mechanism recited in claim 2 in which said means to maintain the axial orientation of said pick-up head includes a spur gear fixed on said crank pin and a ring gear engaged by said spur gear and fixed on said turret, there being one of said ring gears for each of said planet assemblies.
4. The mechanism recited in claim 3 in which said suction means comprises a vacuum shield on the rear face of said turret and having an aperture formed therein for each of said planet assemblies, means defining an arcuate duct in sliding engagement with said vacuum shield and in registry with said shield apertures during pick-up head travel between said stations, and means for connecting said duct to a source of suction.
5. The mechanism recited in claim 4 wherein said crank pin is tubular and in which said suction means includes further, lugs on said pick-up head having holes opening to the cigarette engaging faces thereof, said holes being in fluid communication with said arcuate duct through said crank pin during pick-up head travel between said stations.
6. Apparatus as recited in claim 2 in which said pickup station is located in the lowermost point of pick-up head travel and in which said delivery station is located at a point where movement of said head is substantially vertical and upward.
7. Apparatus as recited in claim 6 in which said means defining said delivery station comprises a rotatable drum and downwardly directed fingers for transferring cigarettes from said pick-up head to said drum.
8. Apparatus as recited in claim 2 including means to disable said suction means when said pick-up head reaches said delivery station.
References (Zited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1962 Schaltegger 19825 6/1962 Dearsley 209-111]