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Publication numberUS3402722 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1968
Filing dateNov 30, 1965
Priority dateDec 1, 1964
Publication numberUS 3402722 A, US 3402722A, US-A-3402722, US3402722 A, US3402722A
InventorsKochalski Horst
Original AssigneeHauni Werke Koerber & Co Kg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for producing a tobacco-containing rod
US 3402722 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 1968 H. KOCHALSK! 3,402,722

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A TOBACCO-CONTAINING ROD Filed Nov. 30, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Sept. 24, 1968 H. KOCHALSKI METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A TOBACCO-CONTAINING ROD 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 30, 1965 Sept. 1968 H. KOCHALSKI 3,402,722

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A TOBACCO-CONTAINING ROD Filed NOV. 30, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Ir iv'en tor: 1%m W67 4 224M 6 hr I'I/W/ Sept. 24, 1968 H. KOCHALSKI METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A TOBACCO-CONTAINING ROD 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed NOV. 30, 1965 r w w 3w .5: 52 m 4 i E w v mt .1 32 g f 32 J MA? qwv N NWH/ $2 m PM j/ 3 1 SR 3 32 E:

Sept. 24, 1968 H. KOCHALSKI METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A TOBACCO-CONTAINING ROD 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 30, 1965 Am; @424 V w/ I ma,

United States Patent C 3,402,722 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A TOBACCO-CONTAINING ROD Horst Kochalski, Hamburg-Lohbrugge, Germany, assignor to Hauni Werke, Koerber & Co. KG, Hamburg-Bergedorf, Germany Filed Nov. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 510,570 Claims priority, application Germany, Dec. 1, 1964,

2 Claims. cl. 131 20 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tobacco rod is formed by merging a stream of shredded tobacco foil with a stream of shredded natural tobacco. The two streams are intermixed by showering one of the streams into the pathway of the other stream or by showering both streams into the pathway of the rod. By changing the speed of one of the streams, the ratio of natural tobacco to shredded foil in the rod is increased or reduced. By changing the speed of both streams to the same extent, the ratio of natural tobacco to shredded foil remains unchanged but the resulting rod moves at a different speed. At least one of the streams can be built up of weighed batches which are first converted into a carpet and the carpet is thereupon converted into a stream.

The present invention relates to an apparatus for producing a tobacco-containing rod. More particularly, the invention relates to an apparatus for producing a rod at least a portion of which consists of particles obtained by subdivision of artificially produced (reconstituted) tobacco-c'ontaining sheet stock. Such sheets are obtained by reusing tobacco dust and fragments which develop in treatment of natural tobacco. The dust is mixed with suitable binder material to form sheets or webs which are thereupon used as wrappers or are comminuted and admixed to shredded or otherwise comminuted particles of natural tobacco leaves. Due to the presence of binders, such reconstituted tobacco is normally used in admixture to natural tobacco so as to make sure that the percentage of binder material in the ultimate product does not exc'eed a predetermined value, i.e., a quantity which would adversely influence the taste of a cigar, cigarette or other smokers product containing reconstituted tobacco.

. In accordance with a presently utilized conventional method, sheets of reconstituted tobacco are broken up into fragments and are introduced into receptacles for admixture to particles of natural tobacco leaves. The mixture is then processed in the customary way and ultimately assumes the form of a stream which is fed into the rod forming mechanism of a cigarette rod making machine or another rod producing machine. A serious drawback of this conventional method is that tobacco which is contained in the reconstituted sheet must undergo the same treatment as the particles of natural tobacco. Such treatment includes roasting, drying and several other procedures which are well known in the art of making cigarette rods or cigar rods. In other words, such fragments of natural tobacco which are incorporated in the reconstituted sheet must undergo treatments to which they were subjected prior to the formation of the sheet. This is undesirable for several reasons, particularly because the roasting and other processing machines are unduly burdened and also because the reconstituted sheet is'very sensitive and is likely to be damaged in the course of treatments which are not necessary.

One object of the invention is to provide a tobaccocontaining rod wherein each unit length contains an accurately determined percentage of reconstituted and natural tobacco.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which may be utilized in carrying out the above object and which can be readily adjusted to insure that each unit length of the tobacco-containing rod contains a desired percentage of each type of material.

A further object of the invention is to provide a tobacco rod forming apparatus which can be adjusted to change the speed of the rod without changing the percentage of its ingredients.

Another object of my invention is to provide an apparatus of the above outlined character wherein the two types of materials may be thoroughly intermixed in a very simple way and in such a late stage of rod formation that the particles of reconstituted tobacco are invariably protected from influences which could result in further comminution or which would adversely affect the quality of the ultimate product.

Briefly stated, one feature of my invention resides in the provision of an apparatus for producing a tobaccocontaining rod wherein each unit length contains the same (or at least nearly the same) quantity of two types of comminuted particles the first of which consists of natural tobacco (for example, of shredded tobacco leaves) and the second of which consists of tobacco-containing material (for example, of shreds or strands which are obtained by subdivision of a continuous tobacco sheet or foil wherein finely comminuted particles of tobacco are held together by means of a suitable binder). In its simplest form, the improved apparatus provides means for forming a first uniform stream consisting of one of such materials and conveying the first stream lengthwise at a first constant speed, forming at least one second stream consisting of the other material and conveying the second stream or streams lengthwise at a second constant speed and on toward the first stream, merging the streams to form a tobacco-containing rod, and conveying the rod lengthwise to a wrapping station. The merging preferably includes intermixing the two materials, and such intermixing may be achieved by apparatus adapted to shower one of the streams into the pathway of the other stream or by showering both streams into a pathway for the resulting rod.

If one of the two speeds is changed,the ratio of the respective material in the rod is also changed. On the other hand, if both speeds are changed to the same extent, the resulting rod will move faster or at a reduced speed but the percentage of the two materials in the rod will remain the same.

In accordance with another important feature of my invention, at least one of the two streams may be built up of weighed batches which are first converted into a continuous carpet and the resulting carpet is then converted into a stream.

The apparatus of my present invention constitutes an improvement over and a further development of apparatus which are disclosed in copendin-g patent applications Ser. Nos. 373,964 (filed on June 5, 1964, by Willy Rudszinat et al., and now abandoned) and 425,266 (filed on Jan. 13, 1965, by Ulrich Riegger, and now abandoned) which are assigned to the same assignee.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The improved apparatus itself, however, both as to its construction and its mode of operation, to-

gether with additional features and advantages thereof,

will be best understood upon perusal of the following detailed description of certain specific embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus which embodies one form of my invention and wherein a stream consisting of natural tobacco particles is showered into the pathway of a second stream consisting of reconstituted tobacco-containing material;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, looking in the direction of the arrow II in FIGURE 1, of an assembly which forms the stream of natural tobacco particles;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section substantially as seen in the direction of arrows from the line IIIIII of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 (composed of FIGS. 4a and 4b) is a side elevational view of a second apparatus; and

FIG. 5 is a horizontal section as seen in the direction of arrows from the line VV shown in FIGS. 4a and 4b.

Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a part of an apparatus which is utilized for the production of a tobacco-containing filler rod 46. For example, the illustrated part of the apparatus may produce a filler rod 46 which is thereupon wrapped into a cigarette paper or the like to form a wrapped rod capable of being subdivided into sections of unit length or multiple unit length. Such sections may constitute cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, cheroots, lengths of wrapped chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco, or analogous tobacco-containing products.

The numeral 52 denotes a portion of an endless flexible conveyor belt whose upper stringer is driven in a direction as indicated by the arrow 52a. This belt 52 forms part of a first conveyor which serves to convey a stream of tobacco containing material, namely, a stream which is obtained by subdividing a continuous sheet or web 69 of tobacco foil. The conveyor further includes a pair of rollers 54 (only one shown) around which the belt 52 is trained, and a drive unit which rotates the roller 54 at a predetermined constant speed so that the stream 73 of comminuted tobacco-containing sheet material advances lengthwise and on toward a merging or mixing zone MZ 'where it is caused to merge and to simultaneously mix 'with a second stream 300 consisting of shredded natural tobacco leaves.

The drive for the conveyor including the belt 52 and rollers 54 comprises a shaft 54a which receives motion from the variable-speed transmission accommodated in a gear box 80. The transmission is driven by an electric motor 81.

The upper stringer of the belt 52 is guided lengthwise through a semicircular groove provided in the upper side of a fixed guide member here shown as an elongated trough 53 which guides the stream 73 toward and past the merging zone MZ. A reel 78 containing a supply of convoluted wrapper material 79 is mounted upstream of the roller 54 and the material 79 is guided onto the upper stringer of the belt 52 to advance therewith at the speed determined by the rpm. of the shaft 54a. The reel 78 is mounted on a shaft 78a and the material 79 may constitute a supply of convoluted cigarette paper tape. The shaft 78a need not be driven.

The stream 73 is fed into the groove of the trough 53 by a hollow frustoconical hopper 55 whose smaller-diameter outlet 56 actually extends into the channel defined by the tape 79 and whose larger-diameter inlet 60 receives strands 70 of subdivided sheet material. .The subdivision is carried out by a cutting mechanism 63 including a pair of cooperating rotary disk-shaped cutters 61, 62 which are provided with annular cutting edges. The cutter 62 is driven by a shaft 65 which receives motion from the transmission in the gear box 80. This shaft 65 carries a spur gear 83 which meshes with and drives a spur gear 84 on the shaft 64 of the cutter 61. The hopper 55 is provided 'with a ring gear 57 which meshes with a pinion 58 driven by a shaft 59. The shaft 59 is driven by a set of meshing bevel gears 82 which are rotated by a further shaft 82a receiving motion from the transmission in the box 80.

The sheet 69 of tobacco-containing material is paid out by a reel 66 which accommodates a plurality of convolutions 67 and is driven by a shaft 89. The shaft 89 receives motion from the transmission in the box 80 through the intermediary of an output shaft 88 carrying a gear 88a which meshes with a toothed belt 91. The latter drives a gear 90 on the shaft 89. In the illustrated embodiment, the shaft 88 carries a second gear 8-4 which drives a second toothed belt 86, and the latter drives a gear 85 on the shaft for the cutter 62.

As stated before, a portion of the outlet 56 actually extends into the channel defined by the tape 79, and it will be noted that the axis of the hopper 55 is inclined with reference to the longitudinal extension of the upper stringer of the belt 52. The diameter of the inlet 60 preferably exceeds considerably the diameter of the outlet 56. The various bearings and journals for the hopper 55 and the drive elements which rotate the parts 54, 55, 61, 62 and 66 were omitted in FIG. 1 for the sake of clarity. The entire apparatus is mounted on or in the frame of a cigarette rod making machine. The transmission in the gear box 80 may be adjusted to select the rotational speed of various component parts, depending on the desired unit weight of the stream 73, on the extent to which the strands are to be interlaced by the hopper 55, on the desired linear speed of the stream 73, and certain other factors.

The operation of the apparatus which is shown in FIG. 1 is as follows:

The shaft 89 drives the reel 66 at such a speed that the rate at which the reel 66 pays out the sheet 69 exceeds the speed of the tape 79 and belt 52. The sheet 69 is caused to pass through the nip at the cutters 61, 62 whereby the annular cutting edges subdivide this sheet into a series of parallel strands 70 each of which may have a width in the range of 0.60.8 mm. The strands 70 enter through the inlet 60 of the slowly revolving hopper 55 and are transformed into helices which are interlaced with each other to form a skelton structure which is full of voids and which, on issuing from the outlet 56, forms the first stream 73 which is deflected by the tape 79 and advances lengthwise toward and past the merging or mixing zone MZ.

The second conveyor includes a relatively wide endless textile belt 39 which is trained around a deflecting roller 41 so that its upper stringer delivers shreds of natural tobacco leaves onto an inclined chute 47 which guides the shreds into the pathway of the first stream 73. The two streams 73 and 300 are thoroughly intermixed in that the shreds of natural tobacco leaves enter the gaps between the helically convoluted strands 70 of tobacco-containing material. In the resulting tobacco filler rod 46, each unit length contains the same amounts of both types of materials (whereby the percentage of natural tobacco shreds need not be the same as the percentage of convoluted strands 70), and the filler rod 46 is then wrapped into the tape 79 in a manner well known from the art and not forming part of the present invention. It will be noted that the second stream 300- which is delivered by the chute 47 is showered into the pathway of the first stream 73, and that the resulting filler rod 46 thereupon advances in the same direction as the first stream 73. In other words, only the stream 300 which consists of tobacco shreds is deflected. However, and as disclosed in the aforementioned Riegger application, it is equally within the scope of my invention to merge the two streams in the interior of the hopper 55 and to deflect the resulting filler rod immediately after the latter issues from the outlet of the hopper. If desired, the tape 79 may be fed into the path of the filler rod 46 at a point which is located downstream of the merging zone MZ.

FIG. 2 illustrates certain component parts of the structure shown in FIG. 1 and a stream former, hereinafter called distributor, which is utilized to supply to the second conveyor 39, 47 a continuous stream 300 of natural tobacco shreds in such a way that each unit length of the stream 300 will invariably contain the same quantity of shreds'unless, ofco'urse, the'personnel in charge actually decides to'cliange the ratioof the two types of materials inthe filler rod 46. Certain parts of the structureshownin'FIG. 1 were omitted from FIG. 2 but the gearbox 80 is-shownagain, together with the motor 81, trough 53, -belt52 and certain of the several output shafts which are driven by the transmission in the box 80.

The distributor of FIG. 2 comprises a magazine 4 whichcontains a supply-of shredded. natural tobacco particles, a weighing device 8 which is arranged to form batches'25 (see FIG. 3) each of which has an accuratelydetermined weight, and means including a winnower roller 42 for transforming or converting the batches 25 into a uniform stream 300 which is delivered to the conveyor including the textile belt 39 and chute 47. The means. for feeding shreds from the magazine 4 to the box 8a of the weighing device 8 comprises an endless feed belt 1 whose upper stringer constitutes the bottom wall of the magazine 4 and which is trained around rollers 2 and 3, a carded combing roller 5 which is driven in a counterclockwise direction-(as viewed in FIG. 2) and withdraws tobacco shreds from the magazine 4, a refuser 16 in the form of a carded brushing roller which cooperates with the combing roller 5 and causes the latter to advance an equalized sliver 4a of tobacco shreds into the range of a rapidly revolving carded picker roller 6 so that the latter separates the shreds from the teeth of the roller 5 and forms a shower 7 which is allowed to descend into the interior of the weighing box 8a. The teeth of the picker roller 6 extend into the spaces between the teeth of the combing roller 5. The rollers 2, 5, 6 and 16 are driven by an electric motor 15 Whose speedmay be varied and whose circuit is indicated at 14. This circuit includes a suitable source 14a of electrical energy and a normally closed single-pole switch including a fixed contact 13 and a movable contact 12. The rollers 2, 5, 6 and 16 may be driven by belts, chains or in any othersuita'ble manner. 1 v

The weighingbox 8a is mounted on one arm of a balance beam 9 whichiis fulcrumed at 9a and whose other arm carries a platform 10 for a removable counterweight 11. The counterweight 1 1 insures that the beam 9 is tilted in a clockwisedirection, as viewed in FIG. 2, when the weighing box 8a accumulates a batch 25 of exactly predetermined weight. In response to such tilting, the contact 12 moves away from the contact 13 to open the circuit 141 and to arrest the motor 15 so that the belt 1and' the.roller s2, 3, 5, 6 and 16 come to a halt.' The rocking movements of the balance beam 9 are limited by suitable stops which arenot shown in FIG. 2. The exact weight of the batches 25 is determined by the counterweight 11. i

' The interior of the weighing box 8a accommodates an intercepting device 28 which is not connected to the weighing box; The purposeof the device 28 is to intercept all such natural vtobacco shreds which tends to enter the box Ba'subSequent to accumulation of a complete batch 25. The provision of the intercepting device 28 is normally necessary because the'rollers' 5, 6 and 16 tend to and actually 'dofrotate,byinerti'aafterthe contact 12 moves away from the fixed contact13.'While the weighing box 8a is being filled, i.e., whilethis box in the process of accumulating a'batch 25, arr ockable flap 32 of the interc'epting device 28 'isheldin'the solid-line'position. This flap 32"is connected to the inclinedgnain portion of the device 28 by a hoiizontal hinge 31, and its movements are initiated bya' control device33 which is connected in the circuit 14 and is operated a s soon as the switch including the contacts 12, 13 opens. The flap 32 then moves to the broken-line position and intercepts all such tobacco s'hreds which descendinto the interior of the weighing box 8a subsequent to stoppage of thelmotor 15. The main portionof the device 28 const itutes an inclined chute and directs the shower 7 onto a pivotable bottom wall or gate 17 of the weighing, box 8a. The gate 17 is pivotable about a horizontal hinge 18 and itsmovements are regulated by a control device 49 which operates at regular intervals spaced apart sufficiently to insure that the box 8a invariably accumulates a full batch 25 before the gate 17 is caused to swing to the phantom-line open position. The control device 49 causes the gate 17 to assume the phantom-line position at a time when the circuit 14 is open, i.e., at a time when the contact 12 has been moved away from the fixed contact 13. The construction of the control device 33 is such that the flap 32 is held in the solid-line position of FIG. 2 when the circuit 14 is completed. When the gate 17 has dumped a freshly accumulated batch 25 and returns to the solid-line positionof FIG. 2, the device 33 allows the flap 32 to reassume the solid-line position whereby the shreds which were intercepted by the device 28 drop onto the gate 17 and form the bottom layer of the next batch 25. The circuit 14 is completed in a fully automatic way as soon as the gate 17 opens and as soon as the counterweight 11 effects return rotation of the balance beam 9 in a counterclockwise direction to move the contact 12 back into engagement with the contact 13. The motor 15 is then started and the parts 1, 5, 6 and 16 begin to feed shredded material into the weighing box 8.

The control device 49 receives impulses at regular intervals from a further control device 48 which latter controls a reciprocable transfer device 22 in the form of a specially configurated plunger. The plunger 22 is reciprocable along the upper side of a slightly inclined stationary table 19 which is located at a level below the discharge opening 24 (see FIG. 3) of the weighing box 8a. This discharge opening 24 is normally sealed by the gate 17. The table 19 cooperates with the plunger 22 to deliver batches 25 into a gap defined by a pair of endless belts 20, 34. The upper stringer of the lower belt 20 is flush with the table 19 and the other belt 34 constitutes a compacting device which exerts a variable pressure against the upper side of a continuous layer or carpet 23, the latter being constituted by the batches 25. A suitably inclined guide 37, preferably assuming the form of a smooth-surfaced plate of sheet metal or the like, is adjacent to the inlet of the gap between the belts 20, 34 and serves to level off the carpet 23. The lower stringer of the compacting belt 34 is engaged by an intermediate roller 36 which causes the aforementioned gap between the belts 20, 34 to taper away from the table 19 between the guide 37 and the roller 36. The downstream part of the gap between the belts 20 and 34 is of constant height.

The control device 48 causes the plunger 22 to perform working strokes at regular intervals, always shortly after the gate 17 moves to the phantom-line position. The gate 17 thereupon immediately returns to the solid lineposition to seal the discharge opening 24 and to enable the weighing box 8a to begin with the accumulation of the next batch 25. When it performs a working stroke, the plunger 22 moves in a direction to the left, as viewed in FIG. 2 or 3. The working strokes of the plunger 22 are so long that the freshly dumped batch 25 is transferred into full contact with the trailing end of the carpet 23. The peripheral speed of the belts 20, 34 depends on the quantity of tobacco in the batches 25 and is selected in such a way that the gap therebetween accommodates a carpet 23 of uniform consistency all zones at which are subjected to identical compressive stresses. The guide 37 insures that all of the tobacco which forms a batch 25 is invariably introduced into the gap between the belts 20 and 34. The taper of the upstream part of this gap is such that the carpet 23 is automatically advanced by the belts 20, 34 when it enters the downstream (constantheight) part of the gap.

The discharge opening 24 of the weighing box 8a resembles an elongated rectangle and is inclined with reference to the longitudinal direction of the table 19 and with reference to the direction in which the carpet 23 advances toward the belt 20. Thus, the batches 25 which are dumped by the gate 17 also resemble elongated rectangles and extend substantially but not entirely transversely of the table 19, see particularly FIG. 3. The front end face 26 of the plunger 22 has the same inclination with reference to the table 19; therefore, the rear end face 27 of the carpet 23 is inclined in the same way as the transverse edges of the discharge opening 24. Such mode of dumping and advancing the batches 25 has been found to result in substantial reduction of irregularities in the height of the carpet 23.

The discharge end of the gap between the belts 20, 34 is adjacent to the periphery of a rotary carded roller 35 which is driven in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2, and advances the carpet 23 past a carded picker roller 40 which showers the natural tobacco shreds against the periphery of the rapidly revolving winnower roller 42. The roller 42 propels the tobacco particles to form a shower 38 which descends onto the belt 39 to form thereon the second tobacco stream 300. The roller 42 distributes the particles in such a way that the flight span of heavier particles is longer than the flight span of shorter particles. The stream 300 is then advanced to the roller 41 at the left-hand end turn of the belt 39 and descends along the chute 47 to be admixed to the strands which form the first stream 73. The roller 42 loosens up the shreds which are obtained by breaking up the carpet 23 so that the stream 300 consists of loose particles which can enter the gaps between the helices of the stream 73. It was found that the just described distributor insures the formation of a uniform tobacco stream 300 all zones of which contain the same amounts of tobacco particles. The resulting filler rod 46 is then wrapped into the tape 79 and is ready to be subdivided into sections of requisite length.

The gear box 80 supports a further output shaft 110 which is driven by the aforementioned transmission in the box 80 and carries a trip in the form of a cam 111. During each of its revolutions, the cam 111 closes an electric switch 112 which is connected in the circuit of a relay 113. The relay 113 sends impulses which actuate the control device 48 so that the latter reciprocates the plunger 22 and also actuates the control device 49 whereby the latter causes the gate 17 to open at regular intervals.

A further output shaft 100 of the transmission in the gear box 80 carries a pulley 101 shown in FIGURE 2, which is operatively connected with and drives the rollers 35, 40, 42 and the belts 20, 34 and 39. The endless flexible drive elements which receive motion from the pulley 100 are indicated at 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 and 107. It is clear that the pulley 101 may be replaced by a sprocket and that the flexible elements 102-107 then constitute chains.

The output shafts 100, 110 are driven by the aforementioned transmission in the box 80 in such a way that their r.p.m. is invariably maintained in a predetermined relationship with reference to the r.p.m. of the other output shafts. If the rpm. of the motor 81 is increased, all of the parts which are driven by the transmission will rotate at a higher speed. This means that the stream 73 will be conveyed at a higher linear speed but will contain the same amount of comminuted tobacco-containing sheet 69 per unit length thereof. At the same time, the weighing device 8 will assemble batches 25 at a higher rate of speed so that the quantity of natural tobacco shreds per unit length of the stream 300 remains the same. Thus, if the speed of the motor 81 is changed, only the speed of the streams 73, 300 and of the filler rod 46 will change but the composition of the rod 46 will remain the same. In order to change the percentage of strands 70 or of natural tobacco shreds, the operator will simply replace the counterweight 11 by a heavier or lighter counterweight. This will result in the assembly of heavier or lighter batches 25 and the weight of the unit length of the second stream 300 will be changed accordingly.

His clear that the apparatus-of FIGS. 1 to 3 may be modified'in such'away-that the'belt 52,will convey a uniform stream of natural tobacco'shreds and that. the distributor of FIGS. 2 and 3 .will-be used to deliver to the conveyor 39, 47 a uniform stream consisting 'of recon:-. stituted or natural tobacco-containing particles or shreds. This would amount to a simple reversal of functions. The cuttingmechanism 63 is then replaced-by a mechanism which can form the strands 70 and whichcan also'subdivide the strands 70 into shreds of desired lengthr'Such shreds are then fed into-the magazine 4 and are distributed and assembled into a stream in the same way as described in connection with FIGS.- 2 and 3.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a s'econd'apparatus wherein each of the two streams is formed by a separate distributor and wherein each such distributor comprises a weighing device capable of accumulating accurately measured batches of comminuted natural or tobacco-containing particles. In FIG. 4 (which is composed of FIGS. 4a and 4b), the left-hand part illustrates the distributor which forms a stream 300A consisting of comminuted tobacco-containing reconstituted material. This distributor is a mirror image of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2, and its parts are identified by the same numerals each followed by the letter A. The right-hand part of FIG. 4 shows a distributor which is identical with the one shown in FIG. 2 and is used to produce a tobacco stream'300B' consisting of shredded natural tobacco leaves. The parts of the distributor shown in FIG. 4b are identified by the same numerals as those used in FIG. 2but each thereof is followed by the letter B. The conveyor which receives the stream 300A (consisting of comminuted tobaccocontaining reconstituted sheet stock) includes an endless textile belt 39A and a chute 47A. The parts 39B, 47B together constitute a conveyor for the stream 300B. The chutes 47A, 47B direct the streams 300A, 300B into the groove of a trough 153 which guides an endless belt 152 and a tape 179 of cigarette paper or other suitable wrapper material. The tape 179 is being paidout by a reel 178 shown in FIG. 5. The directions in which'the various parts move are indicated by'arrows. The fillerrod 146 which is obtained by merging the shreds of the stream 300B into the stream 300A is thereuponfed to a suitable wrapping mechanism and is wrapped into the tape 179 to form a wrapped tobacco-containing rod.

The drive means for the apparatus of FIGS. 4 and 5 includes a transmission which is accommodated in a gear box .180 and is driven by an electric motor 181. An out put shaft 2100f the transmission in the box 180 carries a trip or cam 211 which closes at regular intervals the switch of a relay 213. This relay actuates the control devices 48A, 48B in the same way and at the same intervals as described in connection withFIGS. 2 and 3. A second output shaft 200 of the transmission in the box 180 drives a pair of pulleys 217 only one of which is shown in FIGURE 40, whichdrive belts 201, 202 for. the rollers 35A, 35B. These rollers respectively drive belts 103A-107A and .103B 107B to thereby transmitmotion to certain driven parts ,of the respective distributors. Each ofthemotors 15A, 15Bperforrns the same function as the motor 15 of FIG. 2. I

The magazine 4Areceives shredded material from a suitable cutting mechanism which can include the cutters. 61, 62 of FIG. 1 and additional cutter means fQI'TSUb -E dividing the strands 70 into shortershreds. u

While FIG. 4 shows that the two distributorsare mirror symmetrical with reference to the axis of the fillerrod 146, it is clear that the-apparatus may be modified by placing the chute 47A upstream or downstream of the chute 47B or by providing different types of conveyors which advance the streams 300A, 300B toward the merg; ingzoneMZ.

It is assumed that the transmission ratio" of the drives for the rollers 35A, 35Bof FIGS. 4a and 4b is the same, i.e., that tobacco traversing the members 39A, 47A and 39B, 47B move at the same speed. It is further assumed that the two counter-weights 11A, 11B in one instance, may be identical so that the weight of each batch 25A equals the weight of a batch 25B. Therefore, the ratio of natural tobacco shreds to the shreds of tobacco containing material in the filler rod 146 is one-to-one. Such ratio may be changed by replacing the counterweight 11A or 11B with a different counterweight. For example, by replacing the counterweight 11A with a heavier counterweight, the weight of the batches 25A will be increased and the filler rod 146 will contain a larger percentage of tobacco-containing shreds. The same result can be achieved by replacing one of the pulleys 217 with a pulley of larger or smaller diameter.

As a rule, the quality of reconstituted tobacco is inferior to the quality of natural tobacco. This is due mainly to the presence of binder material and, therefore, a cigarette, cigar, cigarillo or another smokers product cannot contain an excessive percentage of reconstituted tobacco. My apparatus insures that the percentage of reconstituted tobacco in the filler rod 46 or 146 remains constant or that such percentage is changed only when the personnel in charge actually desires to make a change. This is of great importance because a discriminating smoker would readily detect if different portions of a cigarette filler would contain difierent percentages of binder material, or if two cigarettes taken from the same pack would contain different percentages of reconstituted tobacco.

When my apparatus is in use, the filler rod 46 or 146 is formed in such a way that the apparatus first produces two separate streams 73, 300 or 300A, 300B and the two streams are then caused to merge and to intermix immediately prior to or during actual formation of the filler rod. Each of the two streams may be fed at an accurately determined speed and each such stream contains an unvarying quantity of natural or reconstituted tobacco per unit length so that the percentage of two materials in the rod 46 or 146 can be predicted and maintained with utmost accuracy. Also, and since the mixing or merging step takes place at a very late stage of the rod formation, the material of the stream 73 or 30 A need not undergo any treatments which are not necessary, such as roasting, drying and others which are needed only in connection with natural tobacco.

It is clear that each of the tobacco streams 73, 300', 300A and 300B may be trimmed or equalized in order to make absolutely sure that each unit length of the respective stream will contain the same quantity of tobacco particles or tobacco-containing particles. A suitable trimming device is disclosed in Patent No. 3,261,366 to Willy Richter. However, the provision of the aforementioned distributors and of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 insures that the uniformity of such streams is entirely satisfactory and that fluctuations (if any) in the percentage of the one or the other material are well within permissible limits. When a stream is obtained by conversion of fit 10 a carpet 23, 23A or 23B which is assembled of accurately weighed batches, the uniformity of such stream is quite satisfactory in the practice of our method. Insofar as forming the stream 73 is concerned, the apparatus of FIG. 1 obviously insures that each unit length of the stream 73 contains the same quantity of interlaced strands Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention 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 contribution to the art and, therefore, such adaptations 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. An apparatus for producing a tobacco-containing rod wherein each unit length contains the same quantity of two types of comminuted particles the first of which consists of natural tobacco and the second of which consists of tobacco-containing material, comprising first conveyor means for conveying a first uniform stream consisting of one of said materials lengthwise and at a first speed; second conveyor means for conveying a second uniform stream consisting of the other of said materials lengthwise and at a second speed in a direction which intersects the direction of movement of said first stream so that the two streams merge and form a rod; and drive means for varying the speed of said conveyor means in such a way that the ratio of said materials in the rod remains unchanged.

2. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said drive means is common to said conveyor means and wherein changes in the speed of said conveyor means result in changes in the speed of said rod.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,133,951 3/1915 Gallup. 1,183,618 5/1916 Aiton 131109 1,359,029 11/ 1920 Butler 19145.5 1,772,715 8/1930 Grupe 13122 1,949,654 3/1934 Norris 131-64 2,570,270 10/ 1951 Patterson 131 108 2,613,672 10/1952 Sartoretto et al. 131-140 2,707,472 5/1955 Jurgensen et al 13l140 2,727,733 12/1955 Carswell 198-80 3,071,202 1/1963 Lytton et al. 198-80 3,230,958 1/1966 Dearsley 131-20 FOREIGN PATENTS 577,931 6/1933 Germany. 365,453 1/ 1932 Great Britain.

JOSEPH S. REICH, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3589373 *Oct 28, 1968Jun 29, 1971Amf IncCigarette making machine
US4168712 *Jul 9, 1976Sep 25, 1979Molins LimitedExtended sheet cigarette filler
US4619276 *Aug 3, 1984Oct 28, 1986Philip Morris IncorporatedTobacco processing
US4780988 *Aug 19, 1985Nov 1, 1988Korber AgMethod of producing rod-shaped incipient plant carrying devices
US4785831 *Sep 19, 1986Nov 22, 1988Molins PlcMethod and apparatus for minimizing loose ends in cigarettes
US4936920 *Mar 9, 1988Jun 26, 1990Philip Morris IncorporatedHigh void volume/enhanced firmness tobacco rod and method of processing tobacco
US4966170 *Mar 17, 1989Oct 30, 1990Philip Morris IncorporatedTobacco processing
US5012823 *Sep 2, 1987May 7, 1991Philip Morris IncorporatedTobacco processing
US9185934May 19, 2011Nov 17, 2015Hauni Maschinenbau AgDevice and method for supplying ground or cut tobacco material to a portioning device
EP2387890A1May 16, 2011Nov 23, 2011HAUNI Maschinenbau AGDevice and method for feeding ground or cut tobacco material into a portioning device
WO1986001082A1 *Jul 15, 1985Feb 27, 1986Philip Morris IncorporatedTobacco processing
Classifications
U.S. Classification131/61.1, 131/84.1, 131/906, 131/108, 131/109.3
International ClassificationA24C5/39, A24C5/18
Cooperative ClassificationA24C5/1828, Y10S131/906, A24C5/1821, A24C5/39, A24C5/1871
European ClassificationA24C5/18D, A24C5/39, A24C5/18N, A24C5/18E