US 3319772 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1967 c. ORLANDI 3,319,172
WETHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTROL-LING THE FEED OF SHREDDED TOBACCO TO A DISTRIBUTOR CONNECTED TO A PLURALITY OF CIGARETTE-MAKING MACHINES F'iled March 29, 1965 INVENTOR C/A N CA RLO ORLAND/ United States Patent ()fiice 3,319,772- Patented May 16, 1967 3,31,772 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTROLLING THE FEED OF SHREDDED TOBACCO TO A DIS- TRHEUTUR CONNECTED TO A PLURALITY F CIGARETTE-MAKING MACHINES Ciancarlo Orlandi, Bologna, Italy, assignor, by mesne assignments, to American New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Mar. 29, 1965, Ser. No. 443,292 Claims priority, application Italy, Apr. 1, 1964, 7,454/64 Claims. (Cl. 198-110) This invention relates to the feeding of tobacco to the devices for distributing the shredded tobacco to cigarettemaking machines and aims to provide means for automatically varying the feed according to the number and/ or output of the cigarette-making machines fed thereby.
It is known that, usually in the cigarette-making factories several cigarette-making machines are connected to a single distributor, which is usually pneumatic. To said distributor a suflicient quantity of shredded tobacco is fed, in order that each cigarette-making machine in operation connected thereto may take up pneumatically from the said distributor the required amount of tobacco. However it happens almost never that the cigarette-making machines connected to the same distributor are simultaneously in operation.
In a distributor which simultaneously feeds several cigarette-making machines, the quantity of shredded tobacco fed to the distributor must be balanced by the quantity of tobacco sucked by the cigarette-making machines in operation, otherwise the distributor may be jammed, or respectively may run short of tobacco.
For this purpose, it is necessary to provide a method and device for feeding to the distributor a quantity of shredded tobacco which is proportional to the number and/ or output of the cigarette-making machines fed thereby.
According to the invention, this end is attained in a very simple and reliable manner by varying the speed of the conveyor which feeds the shredded tobacco to the distributor, in accordance with the demand of the cigarettemaking machines in operation connected thereto.
According to the invention, this variation of the conveyor speed in accordance with the number and output of the cigarette-making machines fed thereby may be effected by driving said conveyor, and for example a belt conveyor, by means of variable-speed driving means, provided with control devices for varying the conveyor speed proportionally to the number and output of the cigarettemaking machines in operation.
According to an embodiment of the invention, the conveyor belt, which delivers the shredded tobacco onto a distributor, is driven by a variable-speed electric motor.
Preferably said electric motor is a DC. motor having inserted in its feed circuit a number of shuntable resistors which is equal to the number of cigarette-making machines connected to said shredded-tobacco distributor, the arrangement being such that when any of the cigarette-making machines is put out of operation, a resistor is automatically inserted into the DC. motor feed circuit, so that the velocity of the motor and consequently of the belt conveyor, is decreased accordingly.
According to the invention, this regulation may be improved by means of a conventional tacho-dynamo arrangement.
These and other characteristic features of the invention, and the advantages deriving therefrom, will appear from the following detailed specification of a preferred embodiment, by way of non-limiting example with reference to the attached drawing, in which:
Machine & Foundry Company,
FIGURE 1 is a top view and wiring diagram of an installation comprising a belt conveyor driven by an electric motor and delivering the tobacco onto a distributor connected to a number of cigarette-making machines; and
FIGURE 2 is a circuit of a stepwise variable speed control device for a DC. electric motor driving the belt conveyor in an arrangement as shown in FIGURE 1.
With reference to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, the feed arrangement for a number of cigarette-making machines comprises, as usual, a belt conveyor 5 for delivering the shredded tobacco from a suitable source or tank 7 to a distributor hopper 1 provided with a number of tubular intake necks 2 each of which may be connected by means of a suction duct 3 to one of a number of independent cigarette-making machines 4. The belt of the conveyor, is preferably provided with a plurality of spaced rakes 6 for holding the shredded tobacco and is mounted on a pair of rollers 9 one of which is driven by an electric motor 10, if necessary, with the interposition of a suitable stepdown gear and, if necessary, through a suitable speed variator of conventional construction (not shown) while the other roller is inserted in part into the trapezoidal inlet of a chute 8 ending in proximity of the centre of distributor hopper 1, where a revolving conical distributor 101, of known construction, is mounted.
In the example as shown, the speed variation of the conveyor is effected by the same electric motor 10. This is assumed to be a DC. electric motor 10* connected to a feed line 11 and to the terminals of a control box 12.
The circuitry of said control box and of the motor 10 connected thereto and to DC. mains 14 are diagrammatically shown in FIGURE 2.
Box 12 contains a plurality of electric resistances 13 connected in series between them and each of which is shuntable by means of a control switch 15 which may be the general switch of a cigarette-making machine 4, FIG- URE 1. Each switch 15 is coupled to a switch 15A of the motor 10, the switches 15A being connected in parallel between them, so that the motor 10 is in operation whenever any one of the switches 15 is closed, but in the electric feed circuit of the motor 10 there are inserted in series all those resistances 13 which are not shunted by a corresponding closed switch 15. Thus, when all switches 15 and 15A are open, all cigarette-making machines 4 and the motor 10 are stopped; when any one of the switches 15 and the corresponding switch 15A coupled thereto are closed, the corresponding cigarette-making machine 4 is operated and the motor 10 is running, but in its feed circuit 11 there are inserted in series all resistances 13 but that one which corresponds to the one of the switches 15 which is closed and the motor 10) and belt 5 run at their lowest speed. Each time a further machine 4 is operated, a corresponding resistance 13 is shunted off and so on, until when all machines 4 are in operation, all switches 15 and 15A are closed and all resistances 13 are shunted off, so that the motor 10 and conveyor belt 5 run at their maximum working speed. Of course, the resistances 13 are so calculated that by inserting into the motor circuit one of them, the motor speed and consequently the speed of the feed belt 5 are reduced by an amount which corresponds to the speed which is necessary for feeding with shredded tobacco one of the cigarette-making machines 4.
In order to avoid the inconveniences which may be connected with an abrupt stepwise variation of the speed of motor 10, and to effect a finer adjustment of the motor speed a known tacho-dynamo arrangement 16 may be connected to the feed of the motor 10, the whole so as to effect a gradual variation of the motor speed and a finer adjustment of said speed to exactly meet the demand of shredded tobacco from the cigarette-making machines in operation.
As however these appliances do not form a substantial part of the invention, it is deemed to be sufficient to make a simple mention of such possibilities.
Of course, the invention may undergo numerous changes though remaining within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A cigarette-making plant comprising a source of shredded tobacco, a conveyor for continuously conveying said tobacco to a chute showering said tobacco onto a distributor; and a plurality of separate suction ducts each connecting said distributor to one of a plurality of electrically operated independent cigarette-making machines; the arrangement of variable-speed driving means in driving connection with said conveyor; wherein the conveyor is a belt conveyor driven by a DC. motor and means are provided for feeding to said motor such a current as to vary its speed proportionally to the number of the cigarette-making machines in operation, said means comprising the arrangement, in the electric feed circuit of the conveyor-driving motor, of a number of serially-arranged switches respectively connecting to said suction ducts for control thereof and with each switch having a resistor connected in parallel thereto and with said combinations of switches and resistors being connected in series to said motor.
2. A cigarette-making apparatus comprising:
a conveyor for providing a tobacco flow from an upstream end to a downstream end thereof having a variable-speed drive motor; and
a plurality of cigarette makers having respective intake units connecting to said conveyor downstream end and having respective motor speed regulators coupled to said motor and having respective switch units respectively connecting to their corresponding intake units and motor regulators for simultaneous switching thereof, in which said regulators are resistors which are respectively connected in parallel with said switches and which are connected in series with said motor whereby when a maker intake unit is switched on or off, its corresponding resistor is shunted out or in thereby increasing or decreasing the motor power and the conveyor speed.
3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, in which said resistors are substantially equal in resistance whereby the speed of said conveyor changes in substantially equal steps.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, in which said motor has a secondary switch means which is coupled to all said maker switches whereby said motor is shut-off when all said maker switches are shut-off.
5. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, in which said motor has a speed regulator in order to minimize the conveyor acceleration.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 251,541 12/1881 Edison 318-349 2,983,275 5/1961 Volckers 131-1 10 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,026,095 3/1958 Germany.
EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner.
M. L. AJEMAN, Assistant Examiner.