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Publication numberUS3527234 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 8, 1970
Filing dateMay 18, 1967
Priority dateMay 20, 1966
Also published asDE1632193A1, DE1632193B2
Publication numberUS 3527234 A, US 3527234A, US-A-3527234, US3527234 A, US3527234A
InventorsHinzmann Alfred
Original AssigneeHauni Werke Koerber & Co Kg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for convoluting uniting bands around rod-shaped articles
US 3527234 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 8, 1970 A. HINZMANN 3,527,234

APPARATUS FOR GONVOLUTING UNITING BANDS AROUND ROD-SHAPED ARTICLES Filed May 18, 1967 3 SheetsSheet 1 Sept. 8, 1970 HlNZMANN 3,527,234

APPARATUS FOR GONVOLUTING UNI'IING BANDS AROUND ROD-SHAPED ARTICLES Filed May 18, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 3

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Sept. 8, 1970 Filed May 18, 1967 A. HINZMANN APPARATUS FOR CONVOLUTING UNITING BANDS AROUND ROD-SHAPED ARTICLES 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 w VEN roR;

United States Patent 3 527,234 APPARATUS FOR (EONVOLUTIN G UNITING BANDS AROUND ROD-SHAPED ARTICLES Alfred Hinzmann, Richmond, Va., assignor to Hauni- Werke Koerber & Co. KG, Hamburg-Bergedorf, Germany Filed May 18, 1967, Ser. No. 639,351 Claims priority, application Great Britain, May 20, 1966, 22,642/ 66 Int. Cl. A24c 5/52 US. Cl. 131--94 29 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Groups of coaxial rod-shaped articles are united by adhesive-coated bands which are convoluted around the respective articles during travel through an arcuate gap between a travelling rolling surface and a countersurface. The rolling surface is provided with transversely extending successive flutes spaced from each other by identical distances and which receive successive groups prior and subsequent to unidirectional travel of such groups through the gap. At least a portion of the gap has a width less than the diameter of a group throughout the length of the portion, and the length of the portion of the gap exceeds the distance between the centers of successive flutes. Each group completes more than a single revolution about its axis and enters and leaves at least one of the flutes during its travel through the aforementioned portion of the gap.

The countersurface is either stationary or is caused to travel at a speed which is different from the speed of the rolling surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to improvements in apparatus for convoluting uniting bands around rod-shaped articles, particularly for applying adhesive-coated bands of paper or cork around groups of two or more coaxial rod-shaped articles which can be constituted by filter rod sections and/ or tobacco-containing rods. For example, the apparatus may be utilized to convolute uniting bands around groups which are thus converted into filter cigarettes, filter cigars, filter cigarillos, multiplex filter mouthpieces or the like.

An important object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can apply uniting bands without the formation of pockets, pleats and/or leaks.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can apply and convolute uniting bands at a speed required in a modern filter cigarette machine or another tobacco processing machine.

A further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can apply and convolute uniting bands to a succession of closely adjacent groups of coaxial rodshaped articles.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can discharge finished products in a predetermined formation so that such products can be fed to further processing machines which must receive the products in a predetermined array.

A concomitant object of the invention is to provide novel and improved rolling members which can be used in an apparatus of the above outlined character.

An ancillary object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which forms a self-supporting unit and may be readily installed in or removed from a filter cigarette machine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One feature of my invention resides in the provision of an apparatus which can be used to apply adhesive- 3,527,234 Patented Sept. 8, 1970 coated uniting bands around successive groups of coaxial rod-shaped articles, for example, to convolute uniting bands of paper or cork around groups including one or more tobacco-containing rods. In its simplest form, the apparatus comprises a first rolling member which may resemble a drum-shaped suction conveyor and is provided with a travelling rolling surface having a plurality of successive flutes spaced from each other by identical distances and extending at right angles to the direction of travel of the rolling surface, each such flute being arranged to receive a group of coaxial rod-shaped articles with a portion of a uniting band attached to such group, drive means for the first rolling member, and a second rolling member having a countersurface which defines with the rolling surface of the first rolling member an elongated gap through which successive groups advance. The width of the gap is less than the diameter of a group so that the two surfaces cause the groups to roll during travel through the gap and to thereby convolute the uniting bands around the respective articles, and the length of the gap exceeds one of the aforementioned distances. For example, the length of the gap can be three times the distance between the centers of two successive flutes.

The countersurface may be stationary, or at least a portion of the second rolling member may be arranged to travel in the same direction as but at a speed which is less than the speed of the rolling surface.

.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, together 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 drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevational view of a portion of an apparatus which embodies one form of my invention and may be utilized in a filter cigarette machine to unite cigarette rods with rod-shaped filters, portions of the first rolling member and of an assembly conveyor which attaches uniting bands to groups of rodshaped articles being shown in section;

FIG. 2 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary developed view of the rolling surface on the first rolling member as seen in the direction of the arrow II in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary axial section through the first rolling member as seen in the direction of arrows from the line III-III of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a greatly enlarged view of a detail in the structure of FIG. 1, showing the manner in which the second rolling member is detachably secured to its frame;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a second apparatus wherein the second rolling member is flanked by two aligning wheels for groups of rod-shaped articles;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a third apparatus wherein the first rolling member assembles groups of rod-shaped articles with uniting bands; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a fourth apparatus with two mobile rolling members.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, there is shown a first apparatus which may be utilized in a filter cigarette machine to apply uniting bands B around successive groups G of rod-shaped articles. Each such group G comprises two axially spaced cigarette rods of unit length and a filter of double unit length between the two cigarette rods. When the three rod-shaped articles of a group G are connected to each other by a uniting band B, the resulting assembly constitutes a filter cigarette F of double unit length which is thereupon tested for integrity of its components and is severed midway across the filter to yield two filter cigarettes of unit length.

The two main units of my apparatus comprise a first rolling member 1 which is preferably constituted by a drum-shaped suction conveyor and has a peripheral rolling surface 13 which is caused to travel at a constant speed in a counterclockwise direction as the parts appear in FIG. 1, and a second rolling member 14 which is constituted by a stationary block and has a concave countersurface 78 cooperating with the rolling surface 13 to define therewith an elongated arcuate channel or gap C best shown in FIG. 4. The apparatus further includes several auxiliary units which serve to supply the components of filter cigarettes F and to receive such filter cigarettes from the drum 1. These auxiliary units include a receiving conveyor or drum 6 which is adjacent to the drum 1 downstream of the gap C and is provided with axially parallel pockets or grooves 6a each of which receives a filter cigarette F of double unit length during travel past a transfer station T at which the rolling surface 13 comes nearest to the peripheral surface of the drum 6. Another auxiliary unit is constituted by an assembly conveyor or drum 2 which is located upstream of the gap C and serves to supply to the drum 1 a succession of groups G each of which is provided with an adhesive-coated uniting band B. The assembly drum 2 receives groups G from a shuifling conveyor or drum 3 at a transfer station T1 and delivers such groups to the drum 1 at a transfer station T2. A suction conveyor or drum 8 furnishes uniting bands B which are applied to successive groups G at a transfer station T3. The suction drum 8 forms part of a band forming device 4 which further includes a star-shaped rotary knife or cutter 9. A continuous wrapper or web W of paper or cork is supplied to the periphery of the suction drum 8 by a suitable reel which is not shown in the drawing, and one side of the web W is coated with adhesive during travel along a transfer roller which forms part of a customary paster. The knife 9 severs the web W at regular intervals whereby the suction drum 8 constitutes a counterknife for the edges of successive blades on the knife 9. In a manner which is well known from the art of filter cigarette machines, the peripheral surface of the suction drum 8 travels at a speed which exceeds thespeed of the web W so that the bands B are automatically separated from each other by narrow clearances which are shown in FIG. 1. This enables the suction drum 8 to transfer successive bands B to adjoining groups G without the danger of interference between such bands.

The block 14, knife 9 and drums 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 are mounted at one side of a plate-like frame member 7 which is removably installed in a filter cigarette machine. The frame member 7 further carries a shield which extends between the transfer stations T2 and T3 to prevent ejection of groups G from the pockets or grooves 11 of the assembly drum 2. This drum is formed with suction ducts 2a which terminate in the grooves 11 and serve to attract the components of groups G to hold them against 'the action of gravity and centrifugal force. The frame member 7 further supports a rotary aligning wheel 16 which is adjacent to the downstream or discharge end of the gap C and causes successive filter cigarettes F to enter successive axially parallel flutes 17 in the rolling surface 13 of the drum 1. The wheel 16 is driven by a shaft 84 (see FIG. 4) and is provided with rows of equidistant paddles or vanes 83 which engage the filter cigarettes F and, if necessary, move such filter cigarettes into the adjoining empty flutes 17. The shafts of the drums 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8 are journalled in the frame memher 7 and some of them carry suitable gears which form part of drive means serving to cause all of the drums 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8 to rotate at the same peripheral speed. The aligning wheel 16 also rotates at the peripheral speed of the drums 1-3, 6 and 8, and the peripheral speed of the suction drum 8 is slightly higher than the speed of the web W for reasons which were explained above. The gears which drive the wheel 16, the drums 2, 3, 6 and 8, and the knife 9 are not shown in the drawings. Such gears preferably receive motion from the main shaft of the filter cigarette machine. FIG. 1 merely shows a gear 23a which forms part of drive means for the drum 1.

The assembly drum 2 is provided with the aforementioned pockets or grooves 11 which are equidistant from each other and with short needles 12 which extend substantially radially beyond its peripheral surface between successive grooves 11 and serve to prevent the adhesivecoated sides of uniting bands B from adhering to the peripheral surface of the assembly drum. As stated before, the assembly drum 2 is a suction drum and each of its grooves 11 preferably communicates with three or more suction ducts 2a so that each rod-shaped component of a group G is attracted to the drum 2 by at least one suction duct 2a during travel from the transfer station T1 to the transfer station T3. During travel between the stations T3 and T2, the concave internal surface of the shield 15 holds the groups G in their respective grooves 11, and such concave surface also serves as a guide for the uncoated exposed sides of the bands B each of which adheres to the respective group in such a way that it is in linear or substantially linear contact with the entire filter as well as with the adjoining inner end portions of the respective cigarette rods.

The distance between the assembly drum 2 and the intake end of the gap C exceeds the distance between the receiving drum 6 and the discharge end of the gap. Thus, the bands B can lose some moisture during travel toward the gap and the freshly formed filter cigarettes F are less likely to become misaligned during travel from the gap C toward the transfer station T.

The drum 1 is rotatable on a shaft 23 which extends through the frame member 7. The depth of flutes 17 is only a small fraction of the width of the gap C. For example, the depth of a flute 17 may be 0.8 mm. which is about one-tenth of the diameter of a group G. Each flute 17 is in communication with the intake ends of several radial suction ducts 18 (see particularly FIG. 2), and the inner or discharge ends of each row of suction ducts 18 communicate with an axially extending suction channel 19. Each channel 19 is connected with a radially inwardly extending suction duct 21 which is in communication with an axially parallel control channel 22. It will be noted that each channel 19 communicates with all four suction ducts 18 of a flute 17. The control channels 22 can communicate with an arcuate slot 24 machined into one side face of a stationary plate-like valve member 26 (see FIG. 3) which is adjacent to one axial end of the drum 1. The valve member 26 does not rotate with reference to the shaft 23. The center of curvature of the slot 24 is located on the axis of the shaft 23 and this slot extends from registry with the transfer station T2 to registry with the intake end of the gap C. A shorter arcuate slot 27 is concentric with the slot 24 and its ends are also in registry with the station T2 and the intake end of the gap C. The second slot 27 is machined into the aforementioned side face of the valve member 26 and can communicate with axially parallel suction channels 42 of the drum 1. The channels 42 communicate with radially extending ducts 41 which in turn communicate with axially parallel channels 39 of the drum 1. Each channel 39 communicates with six suction ducts 38 whose intake ends are located in the rolling surface 13 (see particularly FIG. 2). It will be seen that the flutes 17 divide the peripheral rolling surface 13 of the drum 1 into several fields each of which has a central portion provided with six suitably distributed suction ducts 38. These ducts attract the uniting bands B during travel from the transfer station T2 toward the intake end of the gap C. At the same time, the suction ducts 18 attract the rod-shaped components of the respective groups G. The two ducts 18 which are nearest to the axial ends of the drum 1 are provided with enlarged intake ends or orifices 37 to insure stronger retention of relatively heavy cigarette rods. The orifices 37 are constituted by shallow depressions machined into the surfaces surrounding the flutes 17.

The valve member 26 is further provided with a third arcuate slot 28 which is connected with a suction pipe 29 and communicates with successive axially parallel control channels 22 when the drum 1 rotates. The purpose of air drawn by the pipe 29 through the slot 28, registering control channels 22, ducts 21, channels 19 and orifices 18 is to hold the filter cigarettes F against the action of gravity and centrifugal force while such cigarettes travel from the discharge end of the gap C toward the transfer station T1 between the drums 1 and 6. As clearly shown in FIG. 1, the ends of the suction slot 28 register with the discharge end of the gap C and with the station T1.

Two relatively short additional arcuate slots 31, 32 of the valve member 26 are connected to each other by a radial duct 33. A further radial duct 34 connects the inner slot 31 with an axially parallel bore 36 of the shaft 23, this bore being connected to an air compressor or another suitable source of compressed gas. The slots 31, 32 respectively register with successive axially parallel channels 42 and 22 while such channels travel from the transfer station T toward the transfer station T2 whereby the jets of compressed gas expel particles of tobacco or other impurities which might have remained in the flutes 17 and/or in the intake ends of the ducts 18 and 38.

FIG. 3 shows that the drum 1 comprises a substantially cup-shaped outer portion 43 and a sleeve-like central portion or hub 44 rotatable on needle bearings 46, 47 provided around the shaft 23. The left-hand end portion of the hub 44 extends through the frame member 7 and is connected with the gear 23a (FIG. 1) which rotates the drum 1 at a predetermined constant speed. The outer portion 43 is surrounded by a hollow cylinder 48 which defines the rolling surface 13 and the flutes 17. The frame member 7 carries one or more brackets 49 which extend into the interior of the cup-shaped portion 43 and support an annular electric heating element 51. The latter is located substantially midway between the axial ends of the cylinder 48 and serves to promote drying of adhesive on the uniting bands B. The brackets 49 further carry an annular closure 52 which seals the open end of the cupshaped portion 43.

The right-hand end of a second bore 36a in the shaft 23 is sealed by a threaded bolt 50. This second bore 36a communicates with the slot 27 of the valve member 26 through passages 61, 62 of the valve member and through registering passages 63, 63a respectively provided in the shaft 23 and in the cylindrical extension 54 of a collar 53 which surrounds the shaft 23 and is held against axial movement by the bolt 50. The valve member 26 is reciprocable on the extension 54 and is biased against the adjoining end face of a ring 57 which forms part of or is fixedly secured to the cupped portion 43. The biasing means comprises a helical spring 56 which operates between a flange of the collar 53 and the right-hand side face of the valve member 26. The ring 57 is provided with bores which register with the channels 22 and 42. The slot 24 of the valve member 26 communicates with a bore 59 receiving one end of a suction pipe 58 which is connected with a fan or another suitable suction generating device. The aforementioned flange of the collar 53 carries a cupped closure 64 which surrounds the valve member 26 and ring 57.

The block 14 is indirectly connected with the frame member 7 by means of an adjustable carriage 66 which is provided with two elongated slots 68 extending radially 6 of the drum 1. This is shown in FIG. 4. The slots 68 receive the stems of screws 67 which mesh with the frame member 7. The carriage 66 comprises two guide posts 71, 72 which are parallel with the axis of the drum 1 and extend ,into complementary holes of the block 14. The means for releasably locking the block 14 to one of the guide posts 71, 72 comprises a pawl 74 which is rockable on a pin 76 carried by the block 14. The major portion of the pawl 74 is accommodated in a recess 73 machined into the top face of the block 14 and a small portion of the pawl normally extends into a notch 69 of the post 71. The pawl 74 is biased by a helical spring 77 so that it tends to turn in a counterclockwise direction and automatically enters the notch 69 when the latter registers with the recess 73. The screws 67 will be loosened when the operator wishes to change the width of the gap C and the entire block 14 can he slipped off the guide posts 71, 72 in response to clockwise rotation of the pawl 74.

The length of the gap C (i.e., of the countersurface 78 on the block 14) is three times the distance d between the centers of two adjoining flutes 17. The flutes are equidistant from each other, and the distance between the centers of grooves 6a, 11 and the pockets or grooves 3a of the drum 3 also equals d. The same holds true for the distance between the centers of paddles 83 on the aligning wheel 16. The position of the carriage 66 with reference to the frame member 7 and drum 1 is such that the width of the gap C is somewhat less than the diameter of a group G. This insures that the groups G undergo a certain compression during travel through the entire gap C. The thickness of a uniting band B plus the diameter of a group G in undeformed condition of the respective rod-shaped components exceeds the width of the gap C plus the depth of a flute 17.

At the intake end of the gap C, the block 14 carries an elongated spinning or turning member in the form of a rib 79 which extends downwardly and beyond the countersurface 78 by a distance corresponding to or approximating the depth of a flute 17 in the rolling surface 13. Thus, the distance between the rib 79 and the rolling surface 13 is slightly less than the distance between the rolling surface 13 and the countersurface 78. The countersurface 78 is further provided with downwardly extending projections or protuberances 81 spaced from each other by distances d and each having a height which corresponds to the depth of a flute 17. The foremost portion of the block 14 at the discharge end of the gap C resembles an elongated fin and is provided with elongated cutouts or slots 82 which register with the paddles 83 of the aligning wheel 16.

The apparatus further comprises a detector 86 which resembles a runner and is mounted on a reciprocable arm 87 constituting a trip for an electric switch 88. The switch 88 is connected in the control circuit of the filter cigarette machine and can arrest such machine (or at least the drive for the parts 1-3, 6, 8, 9, 16) in response to upward movement of the trip 87. As stated before, the aligning wheel 16 and the drums 13, 6 and 8 rotate at the same peripheral speed.

The operation is as follows:

The shufiiing drum 3 assembles pairs of coaxial cigarette rods of unit length with filters of double unit length to form therewith groups G each of which is accommodated and retained in one of the grooves 3a. The shufliing drum 3 may be a suction drum or a suitable shield (not shown) can be placed adjacent to its upper portion to hold the groups G against ejection by gravity and centrifugal force. The drum 3 preferably cooperates with conventional condensing or shifting cams which cause the cigarette rods to actually abut against the adjoining ends of the respective filters. At the transfer station T1, the groups G enter successive grooves 11 of the assembly drum 2 and travel in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1, so as to advance past the transfer station T3. The suction drum 8 advances a series of slightly spaced adhesive-coated uniting bands B each of which is pressed against the adjoining filter and the inner end portions of the respective cigarette rods. The manner in which the knife 9 of the band forming device 4 cooperates with the suction drum 8 to sever the uniting bands B from the leading end of the web W has been described hereinabove. The suction drum 8 applies the leading portions of successive bands B to the adjoining groups G so that the trailing portions of such bands (as considered in the direction of rotation of the assembly drum 2) overlie the needles 12 and are held away from the peripheral surface of the assembly drum. This insures that the adhesive-coated sides of the bands B cannot adhere to the assembly drum. The groups G are held in the grooves 11 by suction in the ducts 2a and advance along the concave inner side of the shield 15. The uncoated outer sides of the bands B are guided by the inner side of the shield 15 but are not attracted to the drum 2 by suction. At the station T2, each group G (with a uniting band B adhering to its rod-shaped components) enters one of the flutes 17 and is immediately retained by suction in the ducts 18. The ducts 38 attract the uncoated sides of the uniting bands B so that such bands lie flat against the fields of the rolling surface 13 between the adjoining flutes 17. As shown in FIG. 1, the ducts 38 attract the trailing portions of the bands B while the leading portions of such bands extend into the flutes 17 which accommodate the respective groups G.

The pipe 58 is connected with a suction fan and draws air through the slot 26 of the valve member 26, control channels 22, radial ducts 21, channels 19, suction ducts 18 and orifices 37. The two central suction ducts 18 (see FIG. 2) in each flute 17 attract the leading portions of the uniting bands B and the suction ducts 38 attract the trailing and central portions of the bands so that such trailing and central portions lie flat against the rolling surface 13 during travel toward the intake end of the gap C. The ducts 38 are connected with the bore 36a of the shaft 23 by channels 39, radial ducts 41, channels 42, slot 27 of the valve member 26, passages 61, 62 of the valve member, passage 63a of the extension 54, and passage 63 of the shaft 23. The adhesive which coats the exposed sides of the uniting bands B is subjected to the drying action of the heating element 51 and is caused to adhere strongly to the respective filters and cigarette rods. However, the drying of adhesive is not completed during travel of groups G toward the intake end of the gap C. When a group G reaches the gap between the surfaces 13 and 78, it is immediately subjected to strong compressive action of the spinning rib 79 which presses the lower portions of the rod-shaped components against the leading portion of the uniting band B. At the same time, the rib 79 causes the group G to roll out of its flute 17 whereby the components of the group roll backwards and the uniting band is automatically convoluted around the filter and around the adjoining inner ends of the cigarette rods. Each group G rolls several times about its own axis during travel through the gap C. Whenever a rolling group enters one of the flutes 17, it comes into engagement with the adjoining projection 81 which subjects the group to compression and causes it to roll out of such flute and to continue the rolling movement about its axis. The arrangement is such that each freshly formed filter cigarette F enters a flute 17 as soon as it reaches the discharge end of the gap C. However, and if a group G happens to be out of line, i.e., if it has been allowed or caused to slip with reference to the surfaces 13 and 78, it is automatically engaged by one axially parallel row of paddles 83 on the aligning wheel 16 and is pushed into the adjoining empty flute 17 so as to be held by suction during travel to the transfer station T between the drums 1 and 6. The paddles 83 catch up with filter cigarettes P which are not accommodated in flutes 17 and push them forwardly into empty flutes in front of such filter cigarettes. During travel between the discharge end of the gap C and the transfer station T, the suction ducts 18 communicate with the slot 28 of the valve member 26 and hence with the suction pipe 29 so that the filter cigarettes F are held against the action of gravity and centrifugal force. The ducts 38 need not be connected to a source of suction because the uniting bands B are convoluted around the respective groups.

The cigarettes F enter successive grooves 6a of the receiving drum 6 and are conveyed past a testing station (not shown) and thereupon past a severing station to yield pairs of filter cigarettes of unit length. One cigarette of each pair is then turned end-to-end so that the filters of all cigarettes face in the same direction. Such cigarettes are advanced by a suitable take-off conveyor or are immediately fed to a tray filling machine in a manner Well known from the art of filter cigarette making.

During travel between the stations T and T the suction ducts 18 and 38 respectively communicate with the slots 32, 31 of the valve member 26 and hence with the bore 36 of the shaft 23. This bore admits compressed air so that the jets of air issuing from the ducts 18, 38 expel any tobacco particles which might have entered the intake ends of such ducts. Furthermore, such blasts also expel foreign matter from the adjoining portions of the flutes 17 and rolling surface 13'.

If a defective or misaligned group G fails to enter the intake end of the gap C, it causes a pile-up or accumulation of groups below the detector 86 (FIG 4) which yields by moving upwardly and causes the trip 87 to actuate the switch 88 whereby the latter arrests the filter cigarette machine or the drive for the moving parts of the convoluting apparatus.

FIG. 5 illustrates a portion of a second rolling apparatus which includes a first rolling member or drum 91, a second rolling member or block 92 and two aligning wheels 93, 94. The wheel 93 corresponds to and performs the same function as the wheel 16 of FIG. 4. The paddles 96 of the wheel 94 travel along the intake end of the gap C between the rolling surface of the drum 91 and the countersurface of the block 92 to align successive groups G prior to entry into such gap. The construction of the drum 91 is the same as that of the drum 1. The distance between the paddles 96 is the same as that between the paddles of the wheel 93 or between the centers of successive flutes 91a in the rolling surface of the drum 91. The peripheral speed of the aligning wheels 93, 94 is the same as the peripheral speed of the drum 91. The righthand side face of the block 92 may but need not be slotted, depending on the length of paddles 96. The carriage which connects the block 92 to the frame member 7a is not shown in FIG. 5.

The paddles 96 of the aligning wheel 84 may replace the spinning rib 79 of FIG. 4, i.e., they can extend so close to the rolling surface of the drum 91 that they cause the groups G to spin or roll about their own axes. Once the groups G enter the gap C between the drum 9.1 and block 92, they are treated in the same Way as described in connection with FIGS. 1 to 4. If the rod-shaped compOnents of the groups G are relatively soft and readily deformable, the countersurface of the block 92 is moved closer to the drum 91 to insure that the groups G undergo at least some compression during the entire travel through the gap.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a portion of a third convoluting apparatus wherein the first rolling member or drum 101 performs the function of the drum 1 or 91 and also that of the suction drum 8. The drum 101 defines an arcuate gap C with a stationary block 102 which is carried by a frame member 109 and is followed by an aligning wheel 103 and a receiving drum 104. A shulfling drum .106 delivers groups G of coaxial rodshaped articles directly into successive flutes 101a of the rolling drum 101. The band forming device feeds the web W directly against the rolling surface of the drum 101, and such rolling surface cooperates with the rotary knife 107 which severs the leading end of the web W at regular intervals to form the uniting bands B. That arcuate slot of the valve member in the convoluting apparatus of FIG. 6 which corresponds to the slot 27 of FIG. 1 is longer and its lower end registers with the region where the web W comes in contact with the drum 101 so that the ducts corresponding to the ducts 38 of FIG. 2 can attract the web W and the bands 13 during travel of bands toward the transfer station between the drums 101 and 106. It will be seen that the apparatus of FIG. 6 is simpler than the previously described apparatus because it can operate without an assembly drum (see the drum 2 of FIG. 1).

The operation of the just described apparatus is as follows:

The underside of the web W is coated with adhesive before its leading end reaches the lower region of the drum 101. The web W slips slightly with reference to the rolling surface of the drum 101 and its leading end is severed at regular intervals by successive blades of the knife 107 so that the uniting bands B are separated from each other by narrow clearances. The leading portion of each band B overlies a flute 101a in the rolling surface of the drum 101 and such bands adhere to the rolling surface durng travel toward the transfer station between the drums .101 and 106. The latter delivers a group G into each successive flute 101a of the drum 101 and such groups immediately adhere to the leading portions of the respective bands B. The components of the groups G are attracted by suction in the same way as described in connection with FIGS. 1 to 4, and the groups G travel toward the intake end of the gap C between the drum 101 and block 102. Each group G may comprise two or more coaxial rod-shaped articles, for example, two cigarette rods of unit length and a filter of double unit length between the cigarette rods. Once the groups G reach the block 102, they are caused to spin or roll in the same way as described hereinbefore. The filter cigarettes F are caused to enter the flutes 101a of the drum 101 by the aligning wheel 103 (if they happen to be out of line), and are transferred onto the receiving drum 104.

Referring finally to FIG. 7, there is shown a fourth convoluting apparatus which comprises two travelling rolling members, namely, a drum 123 which is mounted on a shaft 122 and corresponds to the drum 1, 91 or 101, and an endless travelling belt .128 having a stringer 128a which performs the function of the block 14, 92 or 102. The shaft 122 extends through a frame member 121 which supports guide rollers 136, 137, 138, 139 for the band 128 as well as drive means including a driven pulley 129 below the drum 123. The peripheral rolling surface 123a of the drum 123 is provided with equidistant axially parallel flutes 124 which receive groups G of coaxial rodshaped articles during travel past a transfer station between the drum 123 and an assembly drum 126. The latter is identical with the assembly drum 2 of FIG. 1 and cooperates with a stationary shield 127 to advance uniting bands B and groups G toward the aforementioned transfer station. The needles of the assembly drum 126 are shown at 126a.

The band 128 consists of rubber or elastomeric synthetic plastic material and its inner stringer 128a extends along an arc of about 220 degrees. The shaft of the aforementioned driven pulley 129 further carries two disks .131 which are disposed at the opposite axial ends of the pulley and are formed with equidistant pockets or grooves 132. Each groove 132 of one disk 131 registers with a groove of the Other disk. These disks together constitute a transfer conveyor which transfers freshly rolled filter cigarettes F from an elongated arcuate gap CC onto the upper run of an endless take-off conveyor belt 133. It will be noted that the diameters of the disks 131 are greater than the diameter of the pulley 129, i.e., that the peripheral surfaces of the disks extend nearer to the rolling surface 123:: of the drum 123. The aforementioned gap CC extends between the rolling surface 123a and the countersurface 12817 of the stringer 128a and its length is a whole multiple of the distance between two successive flutes 124. The distance between the grooves 132 of the disks 131 is the same as that between the flutes 124. Shields 134 cooperate with the disks 131 to confine the filter cigarettes F during travel from the gap CC onto the upper stringer of the belt 133.

When the apparatus is idle, i.e, when the gap CC is empty, the stringer 128a of the belt 128 bears directly against the rolling surface 123a of the drum 123. The guide roll 136 is adjustable in a horizontal plane to select the tension of the belt 128. The remaining guide rolls 137- 139 are idler rolls and rotate about fixed axes. In the region (at the intake end of the gap CC) where the stringer 128a approaches the rolling surface 123a, the frame member 121 supports a spinning roller 141 which constitutes a biasing means for the belt 128 and is mounted on a shaft 142 carried by a lever 143 which is pivotable on a pin 144. The roller 141 bears against the upper side of the stringer 128a by its own weight and by the weight of the lever 143, and its lowermost position is determined by a stop 146 carried by the frame member 121 in the path of pivotal movement of the lever 143. The position of the stop 146 is selected in such a way that, when it engages the lever 143, the roller 141 maintains the upper stringer 128a close to but still out of actual contact with the rolling surface 123a of the drum 123.

When the apparatus of FIG. 7 is in operation, the assembly drum 126 delivers groups G each of which comprises two or more coaxial rod-shaped articles and carries a uniting band B. Such groups G enter successive flutes 124 immediately downstream of the fixed shield 127 whereby the suction ducts of the drum 123 attract the groups G and the bands B in a manner which is analogous to that described in connection with FIGS. 1 to 4. For example, each group G may comprise two cigarette rods of unit length and a filter of double unit length, and the cigarette rods preferably abut against the adjoining ends of the respective filter. During travel with the drum 123, the leading portions of the bands B lie in the flutes 124 and their trailing portions overlie the fields between such flutes and the next-following flutes. At the intake end of the gap CC, each successive group G is compressed by the spinning roller 141 whereby it leaves the respective flute 124 and begins to roll between the surface 123a and the countersurface 12%. The roller 1141 normally reduces the width of the intake end of the gap CC to less than the diameter of a group G plus the thickness of the lead ing portion of the respective uniting band B minus the depth of a flue 124. In other words, each group G must lift the roller '141 by pivoting the lever 143 in a clockwise direction. The speed of travel of the stringer 128a is slightly less than the speed of the rolling surface 123a so that the groups G are caused to roll or spin in a clockwise direction and advance through the gap CC toward the transfer station between the drum 123 and the disks 131. The difference between the speeds of the countersurface i128]; and the rolling surface 123a is selected in such a way that each point of the surface 123a covers during travel of a group G through the gap OC the same distance as a point on the countersurface 1281; plus three times the distance between the centers of two successive flutes 124. Such selection of the speeds insures that each freshly formed filter cigarette F occupies one of the flutes 124 at the time it reaches the discharge end of the gap CC. The pockets or grooves 132 of the disks 131 register with successive flutes 124 and receive the filter cigarettes F for transfer along the concave surfaces of the respective shields 134 and onto the take-off belt 133.

The apparatus of FIG. 7 can be used with advantage for the production of filter cigarettes which comprises *smooth-surfaced and relatively hard synthetic plastic filters. It was found that a rubber bend (such as the band 128) is capable of advancing and rolling such filters with a high degree of accuracy.

An advantage which is common to all embodiments of the present invention is seen to reside in that the flutes of the drum 1, 91, 101 or 123 can be placed very close to each other. In other words, the distance between the centers of such flutes need not exceed the length of a uniting band B. Furthermore, each group G is caused to roll about its axis not only once but twice or more than twice before it reaches the discharge end of the gap C or CC, and each freshly formed filter cigarette F automatically enters a flute at the time it leaves the gap so that the filter cigarettes can be advanced at regular intervals and can pass through a customary testing unit without necessitating additional alignment. As a rule, the testing unit must receive filter cigarettes at regular intervals and at identical distances from each other.

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 featuers which fairly constitute essenital characteristics of the generic and specific aspects fmy contribution to the art.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:

1. Apparatus for applying uniting bands around successive groups of coaxial rod-shaped articels, comprising a first rolling member having a travelling rolling surface provided with a plurality of successive flutes spaced from each other by identical distances and extending at right angels to the direction of travel of said rolling surface, each of said flutes being arranged to receive a group of coaxial articles with a portion of a uniting band attached to such group; drive means for said first rolling member; and a second rolling member having a counter-surface defining with said rolling surface a gap through which successive groups advance, the width of said gap being less than the diameter of a group so that said surfaces cause the groups to roll during travel through said gap and to thereby convolute the uniting bands around the respective areticles, the length of said gap exceeding one of said distances and said second rolling member being provided with projections extending from said countersurface toward said rolling surface and spaced from each other by distances corresponding to said first mentioned distances.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the extent to which said projections extend beyond said countersurface at least approximates the depth of a flute.

3. Apparatus for applying uniting bands around successive groups of coaxial rod-shaped articles, comprising a first rolling member having a travelling rolling surface provided with a plurality of successive flutes spaced from each other by identical distances and extending at right angles to the direction of travel of said rolling surface; drive means for said first rolling member; conveyor means for supplying to said rolling surface groups of coaxial articles and uniting bands in predetermined positions with reference to successive flutes; and a second rolling member having a countersurface defining with said rolling surface a gap through which successive groups advance, the width of at least a portion of said gap being less than the diameter of a group throughout the length of said portion so that said surfaces cause the groups to roll unidirectionally during travel through said portion of said gap and to thereby convolute the uniting bands around the respective articles, the length of said portion of said gap exceeding one of said distances so that each of said groupscompletes more than a single revolution about its axis during travel through said portion of said gap and that each of said groups enters and leaves at least one of said flutes during travel through said portion of said gap.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein the depth of each flute is a small fraction of the width of said portion of said gap.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 4, wherein the depth 12 of each flute approximates one tenth of the diameter of a group.

6. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said first rolling member comprises a suction conveyor provided with suction ducts whose intake ends are located in said rolling surface.

7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6, wherein said suction ducts include ducts whose intake ends are located in said flutes.

8. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein the thickness of auniting band plus the diameter of a group in undeformed condition thereof exceeds the width of said portion of said gap plus the depth of a flute so that the groups are uninterruptedly compressed by said surfaces during travel through said portion of said gap.

9. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said second rolling member is stationary and wherein the length of said portion of said gap as considered in the direction of travel of said rolling surface, is a whole multiple of one of said identical distances.

10. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said countersurface is arranged to travel in the direction of travel of said rolling surface but at a different speed.

11. Apparatus as defined in claim 10, wherein said second rolling member comprises an endless flexible band having a stringer extending along said gap and being provided with said countersurface, and drive means for advancing said band at a speed which is less than the speed of said rolling surface.

12. Apparatus as defined in claim 11, wherein the length of said stringer is a whole multiple of one of said distances.

13. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said gap comprises an intake end and a discharge end, and further comprising aligning means for placing successive groups into exact parallelism with each other at least at one end of said gap.

14. Apparatus as defined in claim 13, wherein said aligning means is located at the discharge end of said gap.

15. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said gap comprises an intake end and a discharge end, and further comprising spinning means provided at said intake end for setting successive groups into rolling motion with reference to said rolling surface.

16. Apparatus as defined in claim 15, wherein said spinning means comprises a stationary rib provided at said intake end at a distance from said rolling surface which is slightly less than the distance between said rolling surface and said countersurface.

17. Apparatus as defined in claim 15, wherein said second rolling member comprises an endless flexible band having a stringer extending along said gap and having a surface which constitutes said countersurface, and drive means for advancing said stringer in the direction of travel of said rolling surface but at a different speed, said spinning means comprising a biasing element yieldably engaging a portion of said band at the intake end of said gap so as to reduce the distance bet-ween such band portion and said rolling surface to less than the diameter of a group.

18. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said gap comprises an intake end and a discharge end and further comprising aligning means for placing successive groups into exact parallelism With each other at the intake end of said gap.

19. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said gap comprises an intake end and a discharge end, and further comprising detector means provided at said intake end for detecting accumulations of groups on said first rolling member.

20. Apparatus as defined in claim 19, further comprising means for arresting said drive means in response to detection of accumulated groups at the intake end of said gap.

21. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, further comprising means for heating one of said rolling members.

22. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, further comprising a carriage for supporting said second rolling member and locking means releasably securing said second rolling member to said carriage.

23. Apparatus as defined in claim 22, further comprising frame means supporting said first rolling member and means for adjustably securing said carriage to said frame means.

24. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said second rolling member comprises an endless flexible band of elastomeric material, said band having a stringer extending along said gap and having a surface which constitutes said countersurface.

25. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said first rolling member comprises a drum and said rolling surface is the peripheral surface of said drum.

26. Apparatus as defined in claim 25', wherein said conveyor means comprises a band forming device including means for supplying a continuous adhesive-coated web to the peripheral surface of said drum upstream of said gap and knife means cooperating with said drum to subdivide said web into a succession of uniting bands.

27. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein the location of said predetermined positions with reference to said portion of said gap is such that each group is normally accommodated in a flute of said rolling surface when such group emerges from said gap.

28. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said conveyor means comprises a first conveyor arranged to deliver groups into successive flutes of said rolling surface upstream of said gap and further comprising a second conveyor for receiving groups from said rolling surface downstream of said gap, the distance between said first conveyor and said gap exceeding the distance between said gap and said second conveyor.

29. Apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein said conveyor means comprises an assembly conveyor arranged to deliver groups and uniting bands to succesive flutes of said first rolling member upstream of said gap, a band forming device for supplying uniting bands to said assembly conveyor, and a further conveyor for supplying groups of rod-shaped articles to said assembly conveyor.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,420,243 1/ 1969 McArthur 13194 3,081,778 3/1963 Dearsley 13l-94 3,137,302 6/1964 Schubert 131-94 3,404,689 10/ 1968 Schubert 131-94 1,213,061 1/1917 Baldwin 131--95 3,348,552 10/1967 McCarthy et al 13194 FOREIGN PATENTS 36,010 2/1965 Germany.

1,183,000 12/ 1964 Germany.

872,047 7/1961 Great Britain.

872,629 7/ 1961 Great Britain.

938,299 10/ 1963 Great Britain.

345,287 4/ 1960 Switzerland.

SAMUEL KOREN, Primary Examiner J. H. CZERWONKY, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 131-4 1

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3664891 *Mar 11, 1970May 23, 1972Hauni Werke Koerber & Co KgApparatus for assembling rows of rod-shaped articles
US3854487 *Oct 30, 1972Dec 17, 1974Molins LtdManufacture of filter tipped cigarettes
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US7089944Mar 7, 2003Aug 15, 2006Hauni Maschinenbau AgProcess and device for connecting smoking articles
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Classifications
U.S. Classification131/94, 493/43
International ClassificationA24C5/47, A24C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA24C5/471
European ClassificationA24C5/47A