US 3340775 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 12, 1957 J. c. RAYMOND ETAL 3,340,775
APPARATUS FOR MAKING COMPOSITE FILTER PLUGS FOR CJEGARETTES Filed Oct. 1, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 p 12, 1967 J. c. RAYMOND ETAL 3,340,775
APPARATUS FOR MAKING COMPOSITE FILTER PLUGS FOR CIGARETTES Filed 001;. l, 1964 3 Shets-Sheet 2 3.71 van/"m R z 197 -0 M a-r;
p 1967 J, c. RAYMOND ETAL 3,340,775
APPARATUS FQR MAKING COMPOSITE FILTER PLUGS FOR CIGARETTES Filed Oct. 1, 1964- 6 Sheets-Sheet 5' s 6 Q M z 3% w; E a? Q. mm 5 WEEK m w JMYM United States Patent Ofiice 3,340,775- Patented Sept. 12, 1967 3,340,775 APPARATUS FOR MAKING COMPOSITE FILTE PLUGS FOR CIGARETTES John Charles Raymond and Peter Edward Wisdom, Deptford, London, England, assignors to The Molins Organisation Limited, London, England, a corporation of Great Britain Filed Oct. 1, 1964, Ser. No. 400,861 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Oct. 8, 1963, 39,657/ 63 6 Claims. (Cl. 93-1) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to apparatus for producing composite filter plugs for use in cigarettes and more particularly for producing composite filter rod containing portions of powdered filter material, interposed between conventional .plugs at regular intervals.
It is well known to produce filter-tipped cigarettes by first producing a rod comprising filter material wrapped in paper and then cutting said rod into lengths for application to cigarettes. One common method is first to cut from the rod lengths suflicient to furnish tips for two cigarettes, place eachsuch double length between two cigarette lengths (i.e. lengths of tobacco wrapper in paper), and then, after uniting the cigarette lengths by 'a suitable band to the double-length plug, to cut the latter in half to give two tipped cigarettes.
Such rods of filter material have been made as composite rods, i.e. containing two or more kinds of filter material; for example, one kind-of filter material chosen purely for its filtering efficiency and a second variety of filter material chosen for its attractive appearance, the latter material being arranged to be visible at the end of the finished cigarette while the former material is interposed between the latter material and the tobacco.
Hitherto, however, the filter materials employed have been relatively coherent materials, e.g. paper or cotton wool, but it is now desired to improve the filtering efficiency by employing powdered material, e.g. granules of activated carbon. With such material, it will be appreciated that there are practical difficulties in following the conventional practice of first forming short plugs of each filter material and then marshalling such plugs 'to construct a filter rod, even though some conventional plugs are still required, as powdered material is not suitable for the exposed end of a cigarette. It is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus with which filter rod containing powdered material may be made.
According to the invention, there is provided apparatus in succession, with gaps between successive plugs at .regular intervals, on to a continuous wrapper, means for moving said wrapper with said plugs thereon past a loading position, a rotatable transfer member disposed between a powder hopper and said loading position, and means for rotating said transfer member so that at least one powder chamber therein is brought past said hopper 5 and said loading position alternately to receive and discharge powder respectively, said rotating means and moving means being so interconnected that one of said chambers passes the loading position as each gap is moving therepast.
Preferably the hopper has a discharge opening in its base and the transfer member is so arranged that the chamher or chambers therein pass below said opening to receive powder therefrom by gravity feed. At the loading position the wrapper and plugs may pass below the transfer member, so that discharge from the chamber or chambers to the gaps between successive plugs is also effected by gravity. However, to facilitate operation at high speeds, either or both of these gravity feeds may be assisted or replaced by other means, e.g. suitably directed air streams.
The rotatable member conveniently comprises a cir cular disc lying in a substantially horizontal plane between two stationary masking plates, the disc having a ring of regularly-spaced perforations near its periphery to provide powder-carrier pockets or chambers; the upper masking plate may then have a single aperture below a discharge opening of the hopper for passage of powder from the hopper to the perforations, and the lower plate may have a single aperture at the loading position through which powder may pass from the perforations to the gaps. The thickness of the disc and the size of the perforations are selected according to the quantity of powder to be placed in each of the gaps, while the aperture in one or both of the masking plates may be elongated so that as the disc is rotated each perforation is accessible through such apertures for a sufiicient time for proper filling and emptying of the perforations. The perforations may be inclined so that they meet the lower face of the disc at a greater distance from its centre than at the upper face; with this arrangement movement of powder into the perforations from above, and out of the perforations below, is assisted by centrifugal force created by the discs rotation.
In another form the rotatable member may be in the form of a hollow drum whose axis is horizontal and which is so disposed that its lowest point lies immediately above the stream of plugs while the hopper is arranged above said drum. The drum is drilled at regular intervals around its circumference to provide the powder chambers, and within the drum a stationary membrane is drilled with at least one air passage connected to a source of compressed air and so placed that air therefrom has access to each chamber as the latter reaches the lowest point of the drum, to drive powder out of said chamber. If desired, one or more further air passages maybe connected to a suction device and arranged to communicate with the chambers as they pass under the hopper, to assist filling of the chambers with powder.
In order that the invention may be well understood, preferred embodiments thereof will now be described in some detail, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of one form of apparatus embodying the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view on line XX of FIG- URE l.
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of a second form of apparatus, and
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view on line XI-XI of FIG- URE 3.
All the figures show only the parts essential to an understanding of the invention; in a complete apparatus various other parts will be needed, e.g. wrapper-sealing devices and means for cutting rod produced into desired lengths.
First considering FIGURES 1 and 2, a stream of filter plugs P are fed (as indicated by arrow PE) in regularly spaced relation by plug feeding means (not shown) on to a paper wrapper 82 lying on and travelling with a conveyor belt 83 over a base-plate 84 on which folding members 85, 86 are mounted. The belt 83 travels from right to left (as seen in FIGURE 1) and the members 85, 86 are arranged to fold over the edges of the wrapper 82, one slightly before the other, to form the wrapper into a tube, i.e. the members 85, 86 constitute a garniture in the terminology of the cigarette-making art. At the stage of folding shown in FIGURE 2, one edge of the wrapper is folded to its final position above the line of plugs P, while the other edge is raised to about 45 from the horizontal. At this stage, the plugs reach the loading positionof the apparatus and powdered filter material descends a passage 87 (FIGURE 2) as each gap between successive plugs passes, the passage 87 being formed obliquely in a member 88 secured to the folding member 86 so that material descending passage 87 may enter the gap between plugs through the gap still rmaining between the edges of wrapper 82.
The powdered filter material is derived from a hopper 89 and is brought to the passage 87 by way of a horizontal transfer disc 90 enclosed between an upper masking plate 91 and a lower masking plate 92. The disc 90 lies in a horizontal plane and has four regularly-spaced perforations 93 arranged in a ring near its periphery. Said disc is secured to the upper end of a vertical shaft 94 which is driven by a prime mover (not shown) which also serves to drive the belt 83, the plug feeding means, and means (not shown) for feeding the paper wrapper 82 on to belt 83, so that all these parts operate in synchronism and, inter alia, whenever a gap between successive plugs is passing the lower end of passage 87, one of the perforations 93 of disc 90 passes above said passage.
The hopper 89 has a discharge opening in its base communicating with an aperture 95 in the upper masking plate 91; above passage 87 the lower masking plate 92 has an aperture 96 and the upper masking plate 91 has an aperture 97 to which is connected an air-pipe 98 connected to a source of compressed air (not shown).
It will be noted that the member 88 containing passage 87 does not fill the space between the folding members 85, 86 but leaves a space 99 above the less-folded edge of wrapper 82 and belt 83 on member 85, through which space 99 the said less-folded edge of the wrapper and associated part of belt 83 can pass; the space 99 also affords an air exhaust passage from the gaps between successive plugs, while at the loading position, to atmosphere.
In operation, as each perforation 93 of disc 90 passes under aperture 95, powder from hopper 89 fills such perforation. When rotation of disc 90 brings the powderfill'ed perforation 93 above aperture 96, the powder falls through aperture 96 and passage 87 into the gap between successive plugs P which will be passing below passage 87 at the time. Also at this time, the perforation 93 under consideration will be in register with aperture 97 and air from pipe 98 will flow down through aperture 97, perforation 93, and passage 87 to assist gravity in moving the powder; space 99 allows this air to escape to atmosphere once it reaches the gap between plugs P.
To accommodate a sufiicient quantity of powder in each perforation 93, said perforations are formed as short arcuate slots, while to enable said perforations to be efficiently filled at relatively high speeds of operation the aperture 95, through which powder from hopper 89 is fed to perforations 93, is formed as a longer arcuate slot. Pipe 98, aperture 97, aperture 96 and passage 87 may however be of circular section, of diameter equal to the minor dimension of perforation 93, as the air stream from pipe 98 ensures proper emptying of each perforation 93 at the loading position.
Turning now to FIGURES 3 and 4, in the apparatus here shown use is made of centrifugal force to secure desired movement of powdered filter material. As in the apparatus of FIGURES 1 and 2, plugs P are fed to a wrapper-82 on a belt 83 and a rotatable disc 90 lying between upper and lower masking plates 91, 92 serves to transfer powdered filter material in measured quantities from a hopper 89 to gaps between successive plugs P. Folding members 85, 86 carried on a base plate 84 across which belt 83 travels again serve to fold the paper 82 but in this form of apparatus the position of the wrapper as it passes the loading position is different (see FIGURE 4) one edge portion 100 being directed upwardly at right angles to the horizontal plane occupied by the wrapper before folding commences and the other edge portion being held in a horizontal plane, at substantially half the height of the plugs, between the top of folding member 85 and a guide plate 101. Thus there is nothing between the lower masking plate 92 and the stream of plugs, separated by gaps, as the plugs and gaps pass the loading position.
As before, lower masking plate 92 has an aperture 96, which in this case is directly above the loading position, and disc has a plurality of perforations 93, which successively communicate with aperture 96 as disc 90 rotates. Upper masking plate 91 again has an aperture 95 below a discharge opening in the base of hopper 89, permitting powder from the hopper to fill each of the perforations 93 in disc 90 as it passes below said aperture 95.
However, it will be seen that no aperture 97 or air pipe 98 is provided; instead the perforations 93 of disc 90* are inclined downwardly and outwardly, i.e. sothat they intersect the lower surface of disc 90 at a greater distance from its centre than are the intersections between the perforations and the upper surface of disc 90. This inclination of perforations 93 enables powder to be efficiently discharged therefrom, as during rotation of the disc centrifugal force acting on powder within said perforations will be effective also to urge such powder downwardly, hence as each perforation passes aperture 96 the powder in that perforation will be driven out and descend into a gap between successive plugs-a gap will necessarily be passing as each perforation 93 empties, because as before shaft 94 is connected to a prime mover which also serves to drive means (not shown) for feeding the plugs on to belt 83 and driving said belt, so that perforations 93 and gaps between successive plugs necessarily pass the loading position in synchronism.
It will be apparent that the filling of perforations 93 via aperture 95 will also be assisted by centrifugal force. However, said aperture 95 is nevertheless formed as an elongated arcuate slot (preferably somewhat longer than the slot 95 of FIGURE 1) so that each perforation 93 is placed in communication with hopper 89 for a sufficient length of time to ensure proper filling of the perforation with powder.
While it is possible to make the disc 90 by oblique drilling of a plain disc, it is more economic to assemble two separate parts 90a, 9% as shown. Briefly, the part 90a is a plain disc having its peripheral edge bevelled and spaced slots are made in the bevelled surface, then the part 9% which is in the form of an annulus with a bevelled inner surface is placed on disc 9012, with their bevelled surfaces in contact with each other, and the two parts secured together by rivets 102 extending through both parts at positions between adjoining perforations 93. In the resultant composite disc the perforations 93 are of rectangular cross-section.
Various changes or modifications may be made in the details of the apparatus described without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, movable vanes or other agitating devices may be fitted in the lower part of the hopper 89 to prevent any tendency of the powdered filter material to clog in or near the discharge opening above aperture 95.
1. Apparatus for producing composite filter rod containing powdered filter material comprising conveyor means for feeding a continuous wrapper having filter plugs thereon with gaps therebetween at regularly spaced intervals through a loading zone, a rotatable transfer member having at least one perforation extending between opposite radial surfaces thereof and spaced from its axis whereby the upper and lower ends of said perforation define circular paths during rotation, said rotatable transfer member being located such that the circular path of said lower end of said perforation passes over said loading zone, a powder hopper having a discharge opening positioned above said circular path of the upper end of said perforation, and means for driving said conveyor means and rotatable member in synchronism such that the lower end of said perforation passes over said loading zone as each gap between adjacent plugs passes through said loading zone, whereby during each complete rotation of said rotatable transfer member said perforation is filled with powdered material from said hopper and thereafter said powdered material is discharged into said gap.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, in which the perforations of the rotatable transfer member are inclined so that they meet the lower radial surface of the transfer member at a greater distance from its axis than at the upper radial surface thereof.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, in which said rotatable transfer member is an assembly of two parts, one
of said parts comprising a plain disc with its peripheral edge bevelled and a plurality of spaced slots in the bevelled surface, and the other of said parts comprising an annulus wtih a bevelled inner surface, said two parts being secured together with their bevelled surfaces in contact with each other.
' 4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said rotatable transfer member has a plurality of perforations therein equally spaced from each other and from the axis of said rotatable transfer member and said driving means synchronously rotates said rotatable transfer member such that successive perforations pass over said loading zone as successive gaps pass through said zone.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising upper and lower stationary masking plates contiguous with said opposite radial surfaces of said rotatable transfer member, the upper masking plate having an aperture below the discharge opening of said powder hopper and the lower masking plate having an aperture above said loading zone.
6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, in which the upper masking plate includes a further aperture disposed to permit application of compressed air to each perforation of the rotatable transfer member as it passes the loading zone.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS BERNARD STICKNEY, Primary Examiner.