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Publication numberUS3368671 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 13, 1968
Filing dateApr 20, 1966
Priority dateJul 6, 1962
Publication numberUS 3368671 A, US 3368671A, US-A-3368671, US3368671 A, US3368671A
InventorsHeinz Kaeding
Original AssigneeHauni Werke Koerber & Co Kg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for detecting defective cigarettes or the like
US 3368671 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 13, 1968 H. KAEDING 3,368,671

- METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTING DEFECTIVE' CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed July 6, 1962 Feb. 13, 1968 H. KAEDING METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTING DEFECTIVE CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE Original Filed July 6, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 v I v I IN VE N TOP Feb. 13, 1968 H. KAEDING 3,368,671

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETE NG DEFEGTlVE CIGARETTES OR THE KE L Original Filed July 6, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 125a 127a 124B.

' INVEN 10 Feb. 13, 1968 H. KAEDING 3,368,671

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTING DEFECTIVE CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE Original Filed July 6, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR BY lfmogy WJfiQAF United States Patent F 3,368,671 IVIETHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTING DEFECTIVE 'CIGARETTES OR THE LIKE Heinz Kaetling, Hamburg-Bergetlorf, Germany, assignor to Hauni-Werke Koerber & Co. KG, Hamburg-Bergedorf, Germany, a company of Germany Original application July 6, 1962, Ser. No. 208,030. Divided and this application Apr. 29, 1966, Ser. No. 544,025 Claims priority, application Great Britain, July 7, 1961, 24,631/ 61 17 Claims. (Cl. 209-73) This is a division of my copending application Ser. No. 208,030, filed on July 6, 1962.

The present invention relates generally to the production of rod-shaped objects, such as, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and the like, with or without filters or mouthpieces.

It is essential that, during the production of such rodshaped objects or the further treatment thereof following such production, defective objects should be discarded either prior to, or following the further processing. There are a variety of ways in which defects are apt to arise during the production of cigarettes and filters, or during the joining together of the cigarettes and filters. Some of the defects occur during commencement of the operation of the machine, and upon replacement of the supply spools of paper or other wrapping material in which the rods of tobacco or the filters are encased, or by which the cigarettes and filters are joined to each other.

It is an object of this invention to provide a process and devices by which cigarettes and filters, or other rodshaped objects having manufacturing defects are sensed or detected and rejected or discharged from the machine.

In accordance with an important aspect of this invention, the rod-shaped objects, or the materials used in producing such objects, for example, the paper or other wrapping material, or provided with characteristic indications during the periods of operation of the machine during which manufacturing defects occur, for example, during the commencement of operation of the machine, or upon replacement of the supply spools of paper or other wrapping material, and such characteristic indications provided on the rod-shaped objects or in the material from which the latter are formed are thereafter sensed to cause rejection or discharge from the machine of the defective objects.

In a preferred embodiment of this invention, the defective rod-shaped objects or the defective materials used for the production of the rodshaped objects are automatically provided with apertures or incisions which weaken the defective rod-shaped objects so that, when the latter are scanned by a suitable testing device, the weakened defective objects are deformed from their normal shape and thus acted upon by a rejecting device for discharge from the machine.

Further, the testing device may be sensitive to the air permeability of the wrapping material of the rod-shaped objects so that the apertures or incisions provided in the defective objects or in the wrapping material from which the latter are formed alter the air permeability of the defective objects sufficiently to permit the testing device to detect the altered air permeability and to cause operation of the device by which the defective rod-shaped objects are rejected or discharged from the machine.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invent-ion are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The improved apparatus itself, however, both as to its construction and its mode of operation, together with additional features and advantages thereof, will be best understood upon perusal of the fol- 3,38,57l Patented F eb. 13, 1968 "ice lowing detailed description of certain specific embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a machine for producing rod-shaped objects, and which is provided with devices embodying the present invention for identifying and rejecting defective objects;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective View illustrating details of a device provided in the machine of FIG. 1 for the purpose of identifying defective rod-shaped objects;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III-III of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a detail perspective view of the testing and rejecting devices as viewed in the direction of the arrow 1 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a schematic side elevational view of a reel or spool changing device that can be employed on the machine of FIG. 1 to identify the joints or splices connecting the ends of the wrapping material fed from successive supply reels;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5, but showing the condition of the reel changing device when the supply of wrapping material on a reel is almost depleted;

FIG. 7a is an enlarged view of a part of the device shown in FIG. 5, and illustrates the operation of such evice in detecting the exhaustion of the wrapping material on one of the reels;

FIG. 7b is an enlarged view of another part of the device shown in FIG. 5, and illustrates the splicing together of the wrapping material on successive reels;

FIG. 8a is a View similar to that of FIG. 7a, but illustrates the operation of the device in sensing a splice in a continuous web of Wrapping material;

FIG. 8b is a view similar to that of FIG. 7b, but illustrating the operation of the device in perforating the splice sensed in a continuous web of the wrapping material, as in FIG. 8a;

FIG. 9 is a detail perspective view illustrating structural details of a portion of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of a rod-shaped object of the kind handled by the machine of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a portion of a continuous rod or shaft of cigarette tobacco encased in cigarette paper or wrapping material in which perforations have been formed in a splice connecting ends of the wrapping material drawn from successive reels.

Referring to the drawings in detail, and initially to FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that a machine for producing filter cigarettes and having devices for detecting and rejecting defective products in accordance with the present invention generally includes a base plate 2 and a frame 3 extending upwardly from the latter. The illustrated machine receives successive cigarettes which are transported in longitudinal alignment on' the discharge conveyor 5 of a conventional cigarette making machine 4. The conveyor 5 terminates adjacent the periphery of a cigarette receiving drum 8 at one side of the latter, and a cigarette transfer unit 7 rockably mounted on a crank arm 6 receives cigarettes 28 from the conveyor 5 and deposits such cigarettes, two at a time, in the axially extending grooves spaced apart around the circumference of the drum 8.

The pairs of cigarettes thus deposited in the grooves of receiving drum 8 are transferred, by way of an intermediate drum 9, to axially extending, spaced apart grooves formed in the surface of an assembling drum 10 on which each pair of cigarettes is axially spaced apart in the related groove and a double filter plug or member 30 is interposed therebetween. The double filter plugs 30 are received from a filter cutting and arranging device which is preferably of the kind disclosed in the copending application for United States Letters Patent, Ser. No. 60,929,

now Patent No. 3,164,243. Such a filter cutting and arranging device generally comprises a magazine 16 delivering filter elements each intended to form a plurality, for example, three, of the double filter plugs 30. These relatively long filter elements are deposited in the axially extending grooves on the surface of a transfer drum 17 mounted rotatably below the magazine 16 and cooperating with two rotary cutting blades 18 disposed at axially spaced apart locations along the surface of drum 17 so that each filter element is thereby cut into three double filter plugs. The three double filter plugs 30 in each groove of the drum 17 are transferred to a drum 19 of stepped diameter which cooperates with a filter plug displacing drum 2! to bring all of the filter plugs 3t] into a single plane of rotation, whereupon the filter plugs 30 are deposited successively by a transfer drum 21 of relatively small axial extent in the central portions of the grooves of assembling drum between the pairs of cigarettes previously deposited in such grooves.

Each filter plug 30 is intended to form the filters for the two cigarettes deposited in the same groove of assembling drum 10. Each group of two cigarettes 28 and a double filter plug 30 therebetween is transferred from drum 10 to a groove in the surface of a consolidating drum 11 which is provided with conventional mechanism for moving the two cigarettes into end-to-end abutment with the intervening filter plug, for example, as in United States Letters Patent No. 2,821,201.

The illustrated machine further operates to join each filter plug 30 to the adjacent ends of the two cigarettes 28 between which the filter plug is located by means of a sleeve V of paper or other wrapping material (FIG. 10) so as to form a cigarette and filter unit G. In order to form the connecting sleeves V, the illustrated machine includes a holder 25 rotatably supporting a spool or reel 24 from which a web or strip 27 of paper or other wrapping material is unwound. The web or strip 27 passes around feed and guide rollers 26 and then through a sheeting unit that includes a back-up drum 22 and a revolving knife 23 having axially extending, spaced apart blades projecting from the surface thereof to cooperate with the surface of drum 22 in cutting the strip or web 27 into successive sections of paper or wrapping material each intended to form a connecting sleeve V. The successive paper sections are carried on the surface of drum 22 and are each made to adhere to a filter plug 30 and a pair of cigarettes 28 in a groove of the consolidating drum 11.

The filter plugs, cigarettes and paper sections adhering thereto are transferred from the successive grooves of consolidating drum 11 to axially extending grooves in the surface of a rolling drum 12 which operates to roll each paper section and to form the sleeve V by which each pair of cigarettes 28 and the double filter plug 34 interposed therebetween are connected together to form a cigarette and filter unit G. The successive cigarette and filter units G are transferred from drum 12 to an ejecting device 13 provided in accordance with the present invention and which is hereinafter described in detail. At this point, it is sufficient to note that the device 13 singles out and ejects the defective units G which are deposited in an underlyih receptacle, While those units G having the desired properties and characteristics are further transferred into the axial grooves of a transfer drum 14 cooperating with a rotary cutting blade associated therewith to out each unit G at the center thereof, and thereby provide two filter cigarettes from each unit. Since the filter cigarettes cut from each unit on the drum 14 have their filtered ends extending toward each other, the pairs of filtered cigarettes are transferred by way of a turning drum to a belt conveyor 29, and the turning drum 15 operates, in a known manner, to reverse the direction of one of the filtered cigarettes in each groove so that the filtered ends of the cigarettes delivered to the conveyor 29 will all lie at one side of the latter. The filtered ciga- 4 rettes delivered to the belt conveyor 29 in the manner indicated above are further transported to a packaging or other machine (not shown) by way of a suction device 58.

It is to be noted that, with the exception of the ejecting device 13 mentioned briefly above, the described machine for producing filtered cigarettes does not form a part of the present invention, and has merely been described for the purpose of indicating a machine in which devices embodying the invention may be advantageously employed.

It will be apparent that, when operation of the described filtered cigaratte making machine is halted for any substantial period of time, the adhesive by which the successive sections of paper out from the Web 27 are to be joined to the related filter plugs and cigarettes to form the units G will dry out so that, upon subsequent restarting of the machine, the initially produced units G will not be properly secured or joined. in accordance with the present invention, the units G produced by the machine during the commencement of operation thereof are characteristically identified, for example, by characteristic indications or markings in the form of apertures or incisions cut therein as hereinafter described in detail, so that such units may be readily singled out by the device 13 and ejected from the machine, thereby avoiding the discharge onto the conveyor 29 of defective filtered cigarettes.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the recording device 59 provided in accordance with the present invention for identifying by markings or characteristic indications those cigarette and filter units G produced upon commencement of operation of the machine may include a pair of knife blades 60 carried by knife holders 61 which are rockable together on a shaft 62 which is suitably supported on the usual outer guides 51 of the rolling drum 12. The assembly of knife blades 60, holders 61 and shafts 62 may be disposed immediately below a sleeve rolling member (FIG. 2) associated with drum 12, and the knife blades 60 are spaced apart so as to be disposed adjacent the opposite end portions of the cigarettes 28 in each of the grooves of drum 12. Further, the knife blades 60 are rockable simultaneously between an operative position where such blades are closely adjacent to the surface of the drum 12 and cut partially through the end portions of the cigarettes passing the location of the knife blades, and an inoperative position where the knife blades 60 are spaced a substantial distance from the surface of drum 12 and thereby avoid contact with the cigarettes included in each unit G transported by the drum. One of the knife holders 61 is pivotally connected through a link or rod 63 to the armature of a solenoid 64 so that, when the latter is energized, and thereby displaces its armature in the direction of the arrow 66 (FIG. 2), the blades 60 are moved to their operative positions and thereby cut incisions 01' markings in the paper envelopes or casings W of each pair of cigarettes 28 passing the location of the knife blades. The solenoid 64 is energized to move the knife blades 60 to their operative positions only when the operative speed of the associated filter cigarette making machine is less than a predetermined value. When the operating speed of the machine reaches such predetermined value, the solenoid 64 is automatically deenergized and thereby returns the blades 60 to their inoperative positions. Such control of the energization of solenoid 64 may be effected by a centrifugal switch 67 interposed in the energizing circuit 68 and driven, as by the illustrated chain and sprocket transmission, from the main drive of the cigarette making machine.

The time normally required for the filtered cigarette making machine to attain the predetermined speed at which centrifugal switch 67 opens is sufficient to ensure that blades 61 will form cuts or incisions in all of those cigarettes 28 of the units G which remained on drum 12 during the shut-down period of the machine and to which paper sections were adhesively applied, but not rolled prior to shutdown of the machine. Thus, upon commencement of the operation of the filter cigarette making machine, all of those initially produced units G to which the sleeves V are inadequately secured are identified by the incisions or markings 56 formed therein by the blades 60. If the centrifugal switch 67 does not provide for energization of the solenoid 64 for. a period of time sufficient to ensure the indentifying cutting of all of the units G which are defective, then a conventional time delay relay can be interposed between the centrifugal switch 67 and the solenoid 64 for further delaying the deenergization of the latter.

In accordance with the present invention, the testing an ejecting device 13 which receives successive units G from drum 12 is operative to sense to detect each of the unit G having incisions or markings 56 cut therein, as described above, and further to eject or discharge such defective units from the machine. The device 13, as hereinafter described in detail, is also effective to detect and reject otherwise defective units G, for example, units from which either the cigarettes 28, the filter plugs 30 or the connecting sleeves V are missing, or units in which the connecting sleeves are not securely attached to the cigarettes or the cigarettes are improperly filled.

As shown in FIG. 4, the ejecting device 13 is generally in the form of a drum made up of an outer cylinder 49 having a circumferentially spaced apart series of axially extending grooves 31 in its outer surface and being rotatably mounted, as by bearings 50, on a stationary core unit. Each groove 31 which receives a cigarette and filter unit G from the rolling drum 12 is provided with ports 32 adjacent its opposite ends and a centrally located port 33 which, when the related groove 31 passes through 'predetermined zones during rotation of cylinder 49 about the stationary core unit, are in communication with a source of compressed air so that blasts of compressed air then issue radially outward from the ports 32 and 33. Further, each groove 31 is provided with additional ports 34 located approximately midway between the ports 32 and 33 and with a centrally located port 35, and the ports 34 and 35 are intended to be in communication with a source of partial vacuum during movement of the related groove 31 through other predetermined zones around the stationary core unit.

As shown in FIG. 4, the stationary core of the ejecting device 13 has a cylindrical body provided with axially extending ducts 36 which open radially at suitable locations on the surface of the cylindrical body so as to communicate with the compressed air ports 32 as the latter pass the location of the ducts 36. The ducts 36, at one axial end, open into a control slot 38 which in turn communicates with a compressed air chamber 40 formed in a cap at one end of device 13. The annular compressed air chamber 40 communicates with a passage 42 in the cap which is suitably connected to a source of compressed air (not shown). The compressed air chamber 40 of the cap further communicates with a slot 39 located after the slot 38, considered in the direction of rotation of the outer cylinder 49, and the slot 39 further communicates with the axial openings at one end of ducts 37 which open radially adjacent the center of the body of the fixed core so as to communicate with the central compressed air ports 33 of the successive grooves 31. Another slot 41 is formed in the end of the body to communicate with the compressed air chamber 40 and is located after the line of tangency of the cylinder 49 with the transfer drum 14. Axial ducts 36 and 37 also extend from the slot 41 and open radially at the surface of the body of the central core at locations for communication with the ports 32 and 33, simultaneously, thereby to blow out any material remaining in the grooves 31 after the latter have passed the point at which the units G are transferred to the drum 14.

6 The cap at one end of the stationary core of device 13 further has an annular suction chamber 47 disposed concentrically within the compressed air chamber 40 and communicating through a passage 48 with a suitable source of suction or partial vacuum (not shown). Formed in the end surface of the body of the stationary core and communicating with the suction chamber 47 are slots 45 and 46 which in turn communicate with axial ducts 43 and 44 located angularly in advance of the ducts 36 and following the ducts 37, respectively, considered in the direction of rotation of cylinder 49. The ducts 43 and 44 open radially at the surface of the cylindrical body of the core at locations for communication with the suction ports 34 and 35, respectively.

Each of the grooves 31 moves with cylinder 49 from the station or location A of tangency with the rolling rum 12, at which each groove receives a cigarette and filter unit G, to the substantially diametrically opposed location at which the successive units are transferred to the drum 14, the ports 32 and 33 and the ports 34 and 35 of the groove are connected to the sources of compressed air and partial vacuum, respectively, in the following order: initially partial vacuum is applied to the suction ports 34, then compressed air is applied, in sequence, to the outer ports 32 and to the central port 33, and thereafter suction is applied to the central suction port 35.

Further, as shown in FIG. 4, the device 13 includes arcuate guides 52, 53 and 54 extending, in sequence, around the lower portion of cylinder 49 substantially between the station A at which units G are received from drum 12 and the station at which the units G are transferred from cylinder 49 to the drum 14. Four of the guides 52 are provided and are spaced apart so as to be engageable with the cigarettes 28 of each unit G, with the outer guides 52 being spaced inwardly from the locations at which the incisions 56 are formed in the cigarettes by the knife blades 60 upon operation of the identifying or recording device 59. Only two of the guides 53 are provided, and these guides are located adjacent the central portion of the cylinder 49 so as to be engageable only with the double filter plugs 30 of the successive units G. Two of the guides 54 are also provided, but these guides are located adjacent the opposite ends of cylinder 49, that is, between the incisions 56 that may be formed in the cigarettes 28 and the outer ends of the latter, and the guides 54 have their ends 55 which extend in the direction opposed to the rotation of cylinder 49 formed as deflectors. The deflectors 55 are located relative to the surface of cylinder 49 so that the end portions 57 of the cigarettes 28 can pass freely over the deflectors 55 when the end portions of the cigarettes lie closely within the related grooves 31. However, if the end portions 57 of the cigarettes are bent or projected outwardly from the related grooves 31, as shown in FIG. 4, then the deflectors 55 at the ends of guides 54 engage between such outwardly bent end portions 57 and cylinder 49 and thereby strip the cigarette and filter unit G from the slot of cylinder 49 for discharge into the underlying receptacle.

The device 13 operates as follows:

If cigarette and filter units G are delivered to the grooves 31 of device 13 from the drum 12, but the cigarettes of such units have incisions 56 formed therein to indicate that the same were produced during the commencement of operation of the machine, as previously described herein, then the end portions 57 of the cigarettes are blown radially outward from the related grooves 3 by jets of compressed air issuing from the ports 32 when the latter communicates with the compressed air supply ducts 36. During the action of the compressed air issuing from ports 32 against the outer end portions 57 of the cigarettes, the middle portions of the unit G are held in the related groove 31 by the guides 52. Since the outer end portions 57 are deflected out of the grooves 31, the deflectors 55 of guides 54 can pass between such end portions 57 and the surface of cylinder 49 for stripping the defective unit G from the latter. During such stripping of the defective unit G from the related groove 31, the central port 33 of the latter is communicated with the ducts 3'7 supplying compressed air so that a jet of compressed aid also acts outwardly against the central portion of the defective unit G to further cause ejection of the latter from the groove. Such parts of the structure shown in FIG. 4 which produce jets of air issuing from the ports 32 constitute what I call enabling means because they enable the defiectors 55 to eject or segregate defective (marked) articles.

If a unit transferred to a groove 31 of cylinder 49 is lacking the cigarettes 28 normally forming a part thereof, for example, by reason of an interruption in the feeding of cigarettes to the machine, then such unit is rejected immediately after it advances beyond the guides 53, at which time the central port 33 of the related groove is connected with the compressed air supplying ducts 37 so that the jet of compressed air issuing from the port 33 then drives the filter plug of the incomplete unit out of the related groove.

If a unit received in a groove 31 of cylinder 49 consists only of two cigarettes 28, for example, by reason of an interruption in the feeding of filters 30 from the magazine 16 to the machine, then such unconnected cigarettes are ejected downwardly from the related groove 31 immediately upon the movement of the latter beyond the guides 52 at which time jets of compressed air issue from the ports 32 by reason of the continued communication of the latter with the compressed air supplying ducts 36.

If a defective or incomplete unit G delivered to a groove 31 of cylinder 49 consists of two cigarettes 28 joined together by a hollow connecting sleeve V, that is, a sleeve without a filter plug therein, the jets of air issuing from the outer ports 32 While the hollow connecting sleeve is engaged by the guides 53 exerts suificiently strong forces to overcome the strength of the hollow connecting sleeve, whereby the latter is bent or pinched and the cigarettes 28 are deflected outwardly from the related groove 31 and thereby are engageable by the deflectors 55 at the ends of guides 54 for ejection of the unit G from the related groove.

If a cigarette and filter unit G is delivered to a groove 31 of cylinder 49 without a connecting sleeve V joining together the filter plug and cigarettes, then the cigarettes 23 are ejected from the groove 31 when the ports 32 thereof communicate with the compressed air supplying ducts 36, and the double filter plug 30 is ejected from the groove when the latter clears the guides 53 and the central port 33 is in communication with the compressed air supplying ducts 37.

Finally, if a complete cigarette and filter unit G is delivered to a groove 31, but the cigarettes of such unit are inadequately filled or too soft, or if the connecting sleeve V is inadequately adhered to the cigarettes 28, then the compressed air issuing from the ports 32 during communication of the latter with the compressed air supplying ducts 36, and while the central portion of the unit G is engaged by the guides 53, will cause the cigarettes 28 to be bent outwardly from the related groove 31 and thereby moved into the range of effectiveness of the deflectors 55 of guides 54 for stripping of the defective unit G from cylinder 49.

It will be noted that the recording device 59 is operative to identfy the defective cigarette and filter units G which are produced upon the commencement of operation of the machine, and does so by cutting markings or incisions in the paper envelopes or casings W of the cigarettes, which incisions also extend partly through the to bacco filling of the cigarettes. However, in accordance with the present invention, the defective units or other rod-shaped objects being produced may be identified for convenient detection thereof merely by forming perforations or apertures in the paper or other wrapping material.

In the machine described above with reference to FIG. 1, the connecting sleeves V which join together the cigarettes 28 and filter plugs 30 of the units G are formed from sections cut from a strip 27 of paper or other wrap ping material which is unwound from a roll on a spool or reel 24. When the roll of wrapping material on the spool or reel 24 is depleted, the operation of the filter cigarette making machine has to be halted to permit replacement of the empty spool or reel with one having a new supply of wrapping material thereon. However, FIGS. 5 to 9, inclusive, illustrate a device that can be substituted for the single spool 24 on the holder 25 of FIG. 1 and that is adapted to supply a continuous and uninterrupted strip of paper or other wrapping material to a cigarette making machine to be formed by the latter into connecting sleeves for securing filter plugs to cigarettes, as in the machine of FIG. 1, or to form the paper casings or envelopes of cigarettes.

The device shown in FIG. 5 includes two spaced apart holders 125 and 125a respectively supporting reels or spools 124 and 124a from which strips or webs 127 and 12711 of paper or other wrapping material may be unwound successively. During the unwinding of the strip of paper from one of the spools or reels, for example, from the spool 124a as shown on FIG. 5 and the feeding of the unwound strip to the drums 22 and 23 (FIG. 1) by which the strip is cut into sections intended to form the connecting sleeves V of the units G, a full spool or reel of paper or other wrapping material, for example, the spool 124 on FIG. 5, is held in readiness and, upon exhaustion or depletion of the paper strip on the spool 124a from which the wrapping material is being unwound, the device operates automatically to splice the leading end of the strip 127 on the full spool 124 to the trailing end of the strip 127a unwound from the empty spool 124a.

The strips 127 and 127a withdrawn from the spools 124 and 1240 pass around guide pulleys 126 and 126a and then travel along parallel, closely spaced apart paths past two guide rolls 70 and 70a. Lower and upper suction heads 71 and 71a arranged beyond the guide rolls 70 and 70a and suitably connected to a source of partial vacuum (not shown) are provided with perforated surfaces for adhering engagement with the strips 127 and 127a, respectively. The suction heads 71 and 71a are located immediately ahead of a recording means comprising a splicing and perforating mechanism 79 that includes an upper roller 7% rotated about a fixed axis and a lower roller 79a rotated about a vertically movable axis, and being normally downwardly spaced from the upper roller 7%. Both of the suction heads 71 and 71a are mounted in a common support 72 that is movable parallel to the paths of travel of strips 127 and 127a between the suction heads, that is, toward and away from splicing and perforating mechanism 79. The support 72 is normally disposed in the position illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, that is, with the suction heads 71 and 71a spaced a relatively large distance from rollers 79a and 79b, and the support 72 is connected to the armature 73a of a solenoid 73 so that, upon energization of the latter, support 72 is moved towards rollers 79:: and 79b to the position illustrated on FIG. 7b.

The lower roller 79a of the splicing and perforating mechanism 79 is connected to the armature of a solenoid 84 so that, upon energization of the latter, the roller 79a is moved upwardly from its normal inoperative position (FIGS. 5 and 6) against the upper roller 7% (FIGS. 7b and 8b).

In order to control the energization of the solenoids 73 and 84, the device illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 further includes light sources 74 and 74a each directing two beams of light against the strips 127 and 127a, respectively, at spaced apart locations along the path of travel of the respective strips around the guide pulleys 126 and 126a. Photoelectric cells 75 and and photoelectric cells 75a and 800 are disposed adjacent the paths of travel of the strips 127 and 127a at the inspecting stations where the beams of light are directed against such strips by the light sources 74 and 74a, respectively. The photoelectric cells 75 and 75a are connected by conductors 76 and 76a to a control unit 77 which is, in turn, connected to relays 7S and 83 for energizing the solenoids 73 and 84, respectively. When either one of the photoelectric cells 75 and 75a is energized by a light beam from the related light source 74 or 74a, the resulting electrical signal fed to the control unit 77 causes the latter to energize both relays 78 and 83, and thereby close the contacts of the relays. for a predetermined period of time during which solenoids 73 and 84 are energized.

The photoelectric cells St} and 86a are connected by conductors 81 and 81a to a control unit 82 which controls the relay 33 in the energizing circuit of solenoid 84. The control unit 82 is operative to energize the relay 83 and thereby close its contacts for energizing the solenoid 84 for a predetermined period of time whenever the diffused light reaching one or the other of the photoelectric cells 80 and Stla through the related paper strip 127 or 127a is further reduced in intensity by the passage of a double thickness of paper.

As shown in detail on FIG. 9, from which the upper suction head 71a has been eliminated for the purpose of clarity, the lower roller 79a of the splicing and perforating mechanism 79 is mounted on a shaft 79d. One end of the shaft 79d is journalled in a bearing carried by the armature 84a of solenoid 84, while the opposite end of shaft 79d is journalled in a bearing carriedby an arm 85 which is rockahly supported on the output shaft 86 of the reduction gearing of an electric motor 87. A gear transmission is provided for driving rollers 79a and 7% from the motor shaft 86 and includes meshing spur gears 87a and 87b respectively secured on the shafts 86 and 79d, and a further spur gear 870 meshing with the gear 87a and also with a spur gear 87d fixed on the shaft of the upper roller 7%. The lower roller 79a has two diametrically opposed, axially extending grooves 7% in which blocks 7% are secured at axially adjusted positions, and punches or pins 790 project radially outward from the blocks 79]. The upper roller 7% is similarly provided with diametrically opposed axial grooves 79g having blocks 79k adjustably secured therein and provided with bores 7911 into which the punches or pins 790 are adapted to extend. The bottom rolier 79:: has rounded projections 79m extending from its surface, while the upper roller 7% has its surface formed with corresponding recesses or dimples 79n.

Further, as is apparent in FIG. 9, the perforated sur face 71:! of each of the suction heads, for example, of the suction head 71 appearing in FIG. 9, is transversely arcuate or concave so that, when the leading end portion of the strip 127 or 127:: is held to the surface 71d, as hereinafter described, such end portion of the strip is longitudinally stiffened and thereby prevented from dipping downwardly from a path directed toward the nip between the rollers 79a and 7%. Further, each suction head is provided with laterally adjustable guides 71b and 71c at the opposite sides thereof for laterally guiding the related strip 127 or 127a.

The device described above with reference to FIGS. to 9, inclusive, operates as follows:

When the strip 12712 from spool or reel 124a is to be initially fed to the cigarette making machine, as in FIG. 5, the strip 127 is threaded around guide pulleys 126 and over guide roller 7% so that its leading end portion is held by the suction head 71 and projects a small distance beyond the latter toward the splicing and perforating mechanism 79. If a break occurs in the strip 127a, or when the strip 127a is completely unwound from its spool 124a so that its trailing end 127b moves past the associated photoelectric cell 75a, as in FIG. 7a, whereby the beam of light from source 74a is unimpeded by the strip, then solenoids '73- and 84 are both simultaneously energized in response to the increased intensity of illumination received by the photoelectric cell, as described above. The energization of solenoid 73 moves support 72 toward mechanism 79' so that the leading end 127s is projected between rollers 79a and 79b and, after a suitable time delay, the solenoid 84 raises roller 79a so that, when the trailing end 12711 of the strip 127a reaches the location of rollers 7% and 79b, the latter press together the trailing end portion 1271: and the leading end portion 1270 to provide an adhesive bond therebetween, as shown in FIG. 7b. Thus, strip 127 is connected to strip 127a to permit the continuous, uninterrupted feeding of the paper or wrapping material to the filter cigarette making machine. During the feeding of the strip 127 from spool or reel 124, the empty reel on support or holder 125a: is replaced by a full reel 124a and the strip unwound from the latter is threaded around the guide pulleys 126a and past the guide roller 70a so that its leading end portion is then held by the upper suction head 71a, as shown in FIG. 6. Thus, the strip unwound from the new reel or spool 124a is then positioned for attachment or splicing to the trailing end of the strip 127 then being unwound from the spool 124.

Since the double thickness of paper or wrapping material occurring at the location of the splice or joint between the (ins 12712 and 127c of the joined together strips 127a and 127, respectively, would produce a connecting sleeve V of double thickness, which is not desired, the punches or pins 790 and the cooperating bores 79k provided on the rollers 79a and 7%, in accordance with this invention, act to form perforations or markings or characteristics indicia in the portion of the strip having a double thickness of material so that, when the perforated portion of the strip is formed into a connecting sleeve V joining two cigarettes 28 to a double filter plug 30, as in FIG. 10, the perforations 127a appear adjacent the opposite ends of the sleeve and can be easily detected so that the unit G including the sleeve of double thickness can be ejected or discharged from the filter cigarette making machine. It will be apparent that the perforations 1276 appearing adjacent the ends of the connecting sleeve V substantially weaken the connection between the cigarettes 28 and the centrally located filter plug 30. Thus, when the unit G having a connecting sleeve with the perforations 127.2 therein passes through the ejecting device 13 previously described herein with reference to FIG. 4, the jets of compressed air issuing from the ports 32 of the related groove 31 while the central portion of the unit G is retained by the guides 53 is effective to bend the cigarettes 28 outwardly from the groove 31 at the weakened connections to the sleeve V defined by the perforations 127a Thus, the deflectors 55 of guides 54 can thereafter engage between the outwardly bent cigarettes and the surface of cylinder 49 for ejecting the defective unit from the machine.

Although the operation of the device illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 has been described above with respect to a splice appearing at the connection between strips of paper or wrapping material fed successively from two rolls or spools 124 and 124a, it will be apparent that each strip of paper wound on each roll 124 or 124a may be, in turn, formed of several strips which are united by similar splices or overlapping joints, as at 127d on FIG. 8a. When a splice 127d is sensed by the related photoelectric cell 80 or 80a, the control unit 82 and relay 83 cause energization of the solenoid 84 after a suitable time delay so that, when the splice or overlap joint 127d passes between rollers 79a and 79b, as in FIG. 8b, the lower roller 79a is pressed upwardly against the upper roller 79b and the punches or pins 790 again cooperate with the bores 79k to form perforations in the joint or splice 127d. Such perforations can be sensed, as indicated above, by the device 13 which causes ejection of the units G having connecting sleeves formed from the joint 127d.

It is further to be noted that the projections 79m and the corresponding recesses 79n of the rollers 79a and 79b cooperate to dimple the splice or overlapped joint simultaneously with the forming of the perforations in the latter, so that, when the corresponding portion of the paper strip is rolled into the form of a connecting sleeve V, the dimples prevent secure adherence of the sleeve to itself and also to the adjacent cigarettes 28, thereby to further ensure the correct operation of the device 13 in detecting and ejecting those units G having connecting sleeves formed from the splice or joint portion of the strip.

Although the device illustrated in FIGS. to 9, inclusive, has been described above in connection with the supplying of a strip of paper or wrapping material to a filter cigarette making machine, as shown in FIG. 1, in which sections of the paper strip are formed into connecting sleeves securing two cigarettes to an interposed double filter plug, it will be apparent that the described device may be similarly employed for feeding a paper strip to a conventional cigarette making machine in which the successive or joined together paper strips 127 and 127a are rolled around a continuous rod of tobacco to form the paper casing or envelope of successive cigarettes cut from the rod. In this case, as shown in FIG. 11, the splice or overlapped joint between the paper strips 127 and 127a is formed with pairs of perforations 127 and 127g adjacent the opposite ends of the joint 127d and the latter is further dimpled, whereby a cigarette cut from the portion of the tobacco rod encased in the splice or joint 127d may be conveniently detected and rejected.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invent-ion that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features Which fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic and specific aspects of my contributions to the art and, therefore, such adapations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. In an apparatus for detecting defects in cigarettes or similar rod-shaped articles and in portions of such articles which travel in a predetermined path extending past a plurality of inspecting stations and thereupon along a single ejecting station, recording means for producing markings whenever at least a portion of a defective article passes an inspecting station; means for transporting said markings in synchronism with the speed at which the articles travel in said path; ejecting means provided at said ejecting station and operative to eject defective articles; and enabling means enabling ejection of defective articles by said ejecting means in response to said markings and with such a delay that the defective article, at least a portion of which initiated the production of a marking when passing one of said inspecting stations, reaches said ejecting station after the respective marking was detected by said enabling means and said enabling means has enabled ejection of said defective article by said ejecting means.

2. A structure as set forth in claim 1, wherein the articles travel sideways and said ejecting means comprises means for producing blasts of compressed fluid and for directing such blasts against defective articles to eject the articles from said path.

3. A structure as set forth in claim 1, wherein the articles travel sideways and said recording means is arranged to produce markings-in response to detection of a specific defect on at least a portion of an article passing one of said inspecting stations.

4. A structure as set forth in claim 1, where-in the articles travel sideways and said recording means is arranged to produce markings in response to detection of at least one of a plurality of different defects whenever at least a portion of a defective article passes one of said inspecting stations.

5. A structure as set forth in claim 1, wherein said transporting means includes rotary carrier means for the markings.

6. A structure as recited in claim 1, wherein said recording means is arranged to produce markings in at least a portion of each defective article and wherein said transporting means is arranged to convey the articles in said path.

7. A structure as set forth in claim 1, wherein said recording means comprises means for producing and recording different types of markings in response to detec tion of different types of defects on portions of defective articles passing the respective inspectingstations.

8. A structure as set forth in claim 1, further comprising means for feeding portions of articles into said path and means for receiving from said path satisfactory articles in a zone other than at said ejecting station.

9. A structure as set forth in claim 8, wherein at least one of said inspecting stations includes light-sensitive inspecting means.

10. A method of detecting defects in cigarettes or similar rod-shaped articles and in portions of such articles, comprising the steps of conveying the articles in a predetermined path wherein at least a portion of each article travels past a plurality of inspecting stations and there upon along a single ejecting station; producing and recording markings in response to detection of portions of defective articles at said inspecting stations and transporting such markings in synchronism with the speed of travel of articles in said path; detecting the travelling markings at a point other than said inspecting stations; and ejecting defective articles subsequent to detection of respective markings and with such a delay that the ejection of each defective article takes place at said ejecting station.

11. A method as set forth in claim 10, wherein the articles are conveyed sideways and are equidistant from each other, said recording step including producing and recording markings in response to detection of at least one specific defect in a portion of an article passing one of said inspecting stations.

12. A method as set forth in claim 10, wherein the defective articles are ejected by blasts of compressed air.

13. A method as set forth in claim 10 wherein, at each of said inspecting stations, the articles are examined for the presence of different types of defects.

14. A method as set forth in claim 19, wherein said transporting step includes transporting the markings at the exact speed of the articles.

15. A method as set forth in claim 10, wherein said markings are produced in at least a portion of each defective article and travel with the respective articles in said predetermined path.

16. In an apparatus for detecting defects in cigarettes or similar rod-shaped articles and portions of such articles which travel in a predetermined path extending past a plurality of inspecting stations past a recording station and thereupon along a single ejecting station, recording means at said recording station for producing characteristic indications in response to movement of at least a portion of a defective article past one of said inspecting stations; means for delaying the production of said characteristic indications according to the distances which the articles or portions thereof cover in said path from the respective inspecting stations to said recording station; ejecting means provided at said ejecting station and operative to eject defective articles; and enabling means for enabling operation of said ejecting means in response to said characteristic indications and with such a delay that the defective article, at least a portion of which initiated the production of a characteristic indication at one of said inspecting stations, reaches said ejecting station at the time the enabling means enables operation of said ejecting means in response to the respective characteristic indication.

17. A method of detecting defects in cigarettes or similar rod-shaped articles and portions of such articles, comprising the steps of conveying the articles in a predetermined path wherein at least a portion of each article travels past a plurality of inspecting stations past a recording station and thereupon along a single ejecting station; producing and recording at said recording station characateristic indications in response to detection of portions of defective articles at least at one of said inspecting stations and delaying the production of such characteristic indications according to the distances which the articles cover in said path from the respective inspecting stations to said recording station; and ejecting defective articles in response to the respective characteristic indications and with such a delay thatthe ejection of each defective article takes place at said ejecting station.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Jacobs.

Binchall 20974 X Gumpertz 209111.8 X

Lucas 20972 Atanasoff et a1. 209111.8 X

Kaeding et al. 20972 X Vander Meer 209-1118 X ALLEN N. KNOWLES, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3456787 *Feb 1, 1967Jul 22, 1969Reynolds Tobacco Co RTipped smoking article inspection
US4004593 *Apr 9, 1975Jan 25, 1977Hauni-Werke Korber & Co., KgMethod and apparatus for classifying cigarettes or the like
US4011950 *Sep 19, 1975Mar 15, 1977Gallaher LimitedCigarette monitoring apparatus
US4802323 *Oct 20, 1987Feb 7, 1989Smithkline Beckman CorporationAutomated inspection of capsule seals
Classifications
U.S. Classification209/3.2, 209/644, 209/535, 209/3.3
International ClassificationA24C5/32, A24C5/34
Cooperative ClassificationA24C5/3418
European ClassificationA24C5/34C