|Publication number||US3605988 A|
|Publication date||Sep 20, 1971|
|Filing date||Aug 28, 1969|
|Priority date||Nov 1, 1962|
|Also published as||DE1292069B, DE1781375A1, DE6605289U, US3261450, US3297138|
|Publication number||US 3605988 A, US 3605988A, US-A-3605988, US3605988 A, US3605988A|
|Inventors||Mccombie Alan Keith|
|Original Assignee||Molins Organisation Ltd The|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (4), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
P 20, 1971 A. K; MCOMBIE APPARATUS FOR FEEDING CIGARETTES Original Filed Sept. 30, 1965 3 Sheets-Shut 1 P 1971 A. K. M COMBIE 3,605,988
I APPARATUS FOR FEEDING CIGARETTES Original Filed Sept. 30, 1965 3 Sheets-Shut 2 Sept. 20, 1971 MCCOMBIE 3,605,988
APPARATUS FOR FEEDING CIGARETTES Original Filed Sept. 30, 1965 3 Snail-Shut 5 w ax w JIM/#73 United States Patent 3,605,988 APPARATUS FOR FEEDING CIGARETTES Alan Keith McCombie, London, England, assignor to The Molins Organisation Limited, London, England Continuation of application Ser. No. 685,995, Nov. 7, 1967, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 491,672, Sept. 30, 1965, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 319,846, Oct. 29, 1963. Application Ser. No. 547,702, Apr. 11, 1966, being a continuation of said application Ser. No. 319,846. This application Aug. 28, 1969, Ser. No. 854,028 Claims priority, application9G;2at Britain, Nov. 1, 1962,
2 The portion of the term of the patent subsequent to Jan. 10, 1984, has been disclaimed Int. Cl. B65g /22, 43/08 US. Cl. 19837 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Conveying apparatus for cigarettes, especially tipped cigarettes, having an expansible reservoir through which the cigarettes are conveyed in a continuous stack by means of conveyor belts and rollers between which the stack is confined and having a horizontal conveyor feeding the cigarettes into the reservoir and a pair of rollers resting on the cigarettes on the horizontal conveyor and arranged to push them into the reservoir and pack against a ceiling of the reservoir to reduce the risk of jamming. Additionally the rollers sense variations in the flow rate which are used to control the capacity of the reservoir.
This application is a continuation of my copending application Ser. No. 685,995, filed Nov. 7, \1967, now abandoned, which in turn is a continuation of my copending application Ser. No. 491,672, filed Sept. 30, 1965, now abandoned, which in turn is in fact a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 319,846, filed Oct. 29, 1963, now abandoned. M'y application Ser. No. 547,702, filed Apr. 11, 1966, is a continuation of said application Ser. No. 319,846 and matured into US. Pat. No. 3,2979138, issued Jan. 10; 1967.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to conveyor apparatus for rodlike articles, for example cigarettes, which apparatus moves the articles in parallel alignment in a continuous stack.
Such apparatus is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,297,138 where its use in conveying cigarettes from cigarettemaking machines to cigarette-packing machines is described.
This apparatus includes a reservoir into and out of which the cigarettes are moved in a continuous stack, and which provides means of accommodating the fluctuations in operating rates which occur between the making and the packing machines.
In this apparatus certain problems occur in handling the cigarettes. 'For example tipped cigarettes have a marked tendency to cross and jam.
It is an object of the present invention to provide conveyor apparatus which is of particular use in handling cigarettes, especially tipped cigarettes.
Apparatus in accordance with the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation,
FIG. 2 is a sectional view on the line I-I,
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of an alternative arrangement, on a difierent scale,
FIG. 4 is a section on the line IV-IV, FIG. 3, and
FIG. 5 is an overall view of reservoir apparatus in which the apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 4 may be incorporated.
The apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 may form part of an apparatus such as is illustrated in FIG. 5, which corresponds to FIG. 4 of the drawings accompanying the above-mentioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,297,138. Briefly expressed the reservoir apparatus shown in FIG. 5 comprises upper and lower parallel elongated compartments 142 and 143, an endless band conveyor 171 having an upper run forming the base of the upper compartment 142 and a lower run forming the top of the lower compertinent 143, and a concave movable backplate 147 forming a movable end wall of the reservoir. It will be seen that this arrangement forms a loop-shaped configuration comprising parallel links (namely the upper and lower compartments 142 and 143) joined by a cross-link defined partly by the movable backplate 147. The cigarettes enter the upper compartment through an inlet 112, passing underneath a pivoted detector 185 and pass from there between conveyors 179 and 180 and into the upper compartment 142. From there they pass between the backplate 147 and the roller over which the endless band 171 passes and into the lower compartment 143. Finally, the cigarettes are delivered from the reservoir after passing through an outlet defined by a conveyor band and band 171. The backplate and roller can be moved to and fro to increase or decrease the capacitfi of the reservoir depending upon the relative rates of supply and withdrawal of cigarettes to and from the reservoir.
The apparatus according to either of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 of the present drawings is intended to be located at the entrance to the upper compartment of the reservoir, and may be considered as replacing the apparatus comprising the bands 179 and 180 and detector shown in FIG. 5.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, an endless conveyor band 1 receives cigarettes C, e.g. from a number of cigarette-making machines, and conveys them as a moving pile, which may be several cigarettes deep, towards the right in FIG. 1. The band 1 passes about a roller 2, between a pair of opposed cleaning elements 3, and between driving rollers 4 and 5. On its upper run the band 1 is supported by plates 6 and 7.
To the right of the band roller 2 is a drum 8 arranged to rotate in the direction shown by the arrow at a speed which is varied from time to time as will be described later. A bridge 9 extends from the band 1 to the surface of the drum 8.
A concave plate 10 carried on supports 11 extends almost halfway about the drum 8, and forms a back support for an endless band 12 which runs over the inside curve of the plate and returns over rollers 13, 14, 1'5, 16, 17 and -18, the last-named being a drive roller, and 19. The plate 10 which serves as a stationary end wall is spaced a suitable distance from the drum 8 to permit a desired depth of cigarettes to be accommodated between the band 12 and drum 8.
The band 12 is driven at a speed suitably in excess of the peripheral speed of the drum 8 to carry the cigarettes C around the drum without relative displacement.
Extending beneath the plate 10 and band 12, and also beneath the drum 8 and the band 1, is an endless band 20, driven by rollers 21 and 22. This band 20 corresponds to the band 171 in FIG. 5 and forms the base of the upper compartment of the cigarette reservoir. If the speed of this band is altered, the back plate 147 forming the end of the reservoir is moved in one direction or the other so as to alter the capacity of the reservoir. In the present case, such speed changes are effected by changing the speed of the drive roller 21.
A short wedge-shaped bridge 23 extends from the band 12, as it passes over the roller 13, to the band 20.
As stated above, the part of the band shown at the bottom of FIG. 1 forms the base of the upper compartment of the reservoir, The top of this upper compartment is defined by a plate 24.
Side plates 25 and 26 confine the cigarettes laterally at the entrance to and within the upper compartment of the reservoir.
Directly above the conveyor band 1 is a detector member in the form of a pair of relatively narrow rollers 125, which together with the conveyor 1, the bridge 9 and the drum 8 defines the entrance to the reservoir. Each of the rollers 125 is constructed as a pair of flanged discs, as seen in FIG. 2, clamped together and fixed slightly eccentrically on a sleeve 126 which is rotated on a spindle 27 by a Timex belt 28 passing over a sprocket 29. The belt is driven by a sprocket 30 carried by a constantly rotating drive shaft 31. The spindle 27 is supported rotatably by a bush 32, FIG. 2, carried by an arm 33 mounted on a sleeve 34 which is free to rotate about the drive shaft 31. Thus the rollers 125 can swing up and down about the shaft 31. A short arm 35 on the sleeve 34 is connected to one end of a rod 36 so as to cause the rod to move lengthwise to and fro if the rollers 125 move up and down. The other end of the rod 36 engages one end of a pivoted element 36a whose movements are utilised to actuate any suitable means for varying the speed of the drive roller 21, the drum 8 and the drive roller 18 for the band 12. These means are substantially as described and illustrated in US. Pat. No. 3,297,138.
The rollers 125 are driven at a speed such that their cigarette-engaging peripheral surfaces move faster than the band 1, e.g. at a speed 1.8 times that of the band 1.
A plate 37 extends over part of the drum 8 and between the rollers 125, and a short bridge 38 extends between the plate 37 and the roller 19 over which the band 12 passes. A flexible strip 39 is secured beneath the plate 37 and its free edge bears against the peripheral surfaces of the rollers 125.
In operation of the apparatus, cigarettes C are carried by the conveyor band 1 beneath the rollers 125 into the space between the periphery of the drum 8 and the plate 37 and strip 39, the bridge 38, and the band 12. The rollers 125 rest on the pile of cigarettes moving beneath them and rise or fall according to the cigarette depth at any moment. At the same time the rollers 125, due to their speed of rotation, positively urge the cigarettes forwardly to ensure that the said space is kept filled with cigarettes and upwardly to urge the cigarettes to pack themselves neatly against the plate 37. It is desirable that the reservoir should at all times be completely filled with cigarettes so that they are kept in close contact with each other and can therefore be moved through the reservoir as a more or less compact body, and it is for this reason that the rollers 125 rotate with a peripheral speed in excess of the normal feeding speed of the cigarettes, thereby tending to ensure that no deficiency of cigarettes can occur at or immediately beyond the entrance to the reservoir and that the cigarettes pack themselves against the ceiling of the reservoir, defined at this point by the plate 37, thus reducing the risk of them crossing or twisting and thereby jamming the flow. The flexible strip 39, by pressing lightly against the cigarettes just leaving the rollers 125, also assists in keeping them close together.
If the quantity of cigarettes being fed by the band 1 decreases, the cigarette level on the band will fall and the rollers 125 will fall correspondingly, likewise if the quantity on the band 1 increases, the rollers 125 will rise. As explained above, these up and down movements of the rollers 125 are utilised to actuate means whereby the speeds of the drum 8, and band 12, and the band 20 are increased to allow more cigarettes to be received in the reservoir, or decreased if fewer cigarettes are being received.
Any changes in the speed of the band 20 cause the size of the reservoir to be altered in the manner described in the specification referred to above, back plate or movable wall 147 moving towards and away from concave plate or stationary end wall 10 to vary the length of the reservoir and to compensate for the change in volume of cigarettes present in the reservoir.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, these show a modified arrangement at the entrance to the reservoir.
A pair of endless chain conveyors 51 (only one of which is shown) receive cigarettes C from e.g. a number of cigarette-making machines and convey them towards the right in the figure. The chains, which are spaced apart, carry projections 52 which form pockets to accommodate the cigarettes. The chain are driven by and return about sprockets 53.
Three endless bands 54 (only one of which is seen in the figure) are arranged between and on either side of the two chains 51. These bands pass over rollers 57 and 58 which define their upper run, the rollers 57 acting to tension the band, guide roller 58a, and drive wheels 59. The upper runs of the bands are upwardly inclined in the direction of their movement, and intersect the chains 51 so as to lift the cigarettes from the chains. They run over a guide plate 62.
It will be seen that the chains 51 and bands 54 in this embodiment replace the band 1 of FIG. 1.
To the right of the band rollers 58 is a drum 6 8, bridge 69, concave plate 70, and band 72, which correspond to the drum 8, bridge 9 concave plate 10, and band 12 of FIG. 1.
Above the bands 54 are two pairs of flanged discs 75 and 76, the discs 76 extending partially between the discs 75. The discs 76 are rotatable about a spindle 77 carried by arms 78 which are mounted for swinging movement about a spindle 79 on which the discs 75 are rotatable, and which is carried by a swingable arm 80. The arm 80 is loosely mounted for swinging movement about a shaft 81 on which is fixed a drive roller 82, which is flanged as shown in FIG. 4. A band 83, of nylon or other suitable non-stretching material, backed by a narrower band 84, extends about the discs and drive roller and is driven by the latter at the same speed as the chains 51. The narrow backing band 84 fits between flanges of the drive roller 82 and prevents wandering of the composite band. Fixed on a hub 85 of the arm 80 is a short arm 86 connected to one end of a rod 87 so as to cause the rod to move lengthwise to and fro if the arm 80 swings up and down. The other end of the rod 87 engages one end of a pivoted element 88 which is identical with the element 36a in FIG. 1.
The discs 75 and 76 and the surrounding band 83, which rests on the cigarettes carried first by the chains 51 and then by the bands 54, correspond to the rollers of FIG. 1.
1. Apparatus for feeding cigarettes and other rod-like articles comprising a reservoir, means for delivering articles to the reservoir and means for discharging articles from the reservoir at a rate independent of the rate of in-feed of the delivery means, the reservoir comprising a movable floor consisting of a conveyor band, a stationary wall defining one end of the reservoir, and a movable wall which defines the other end of the reservoir and is movable towards and away from the stationary wall whereby the length of the reservoir is variable, said article-delivery means for feeding articles into the reservoir comprising an entry channel adjacent the stationary end wall of the reservoir at the end of the reservoir remote from the movable wall.
2. Apparatus for feeding cigarettes and other rod-like articles comprising a reservoir, means for delivering articles into the reservoir, and means for delivering articles from the reservoir, the reservoir comprising conveyor means for supporting and moving the articles in the reservoir, means defining a stationary end of the said reservoir and including a stationary end wall, a movable wall which defines the other end of the reservoir and is movable towards and away from the stationary wall whereby the length of the reservoir is variable, means defining a reservoir entry channel adjacent to the stationary end of the reservoir and in communication with the said means for delivering articles to the reservoir, and means defining a reservoir exit channel adjacent to the stationary end of the reservoir and in communication with the said means for delivering articles from the reservoir.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which the said reservoir entry channel has an upper wall comprising a member which has one end swingably mounted by means of a stationary horizontal pivot and has its other end resting on the cigarettes in the entry channel prior to the entry of the cigarettes into the reservoir.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which the said upper wall member of the entry channel comprises a detector which rises and falls, depending upon the number of cigarettes in the entry channel, and which is operatively connected to regulating means for controlling the length of the reservoir.
5. Apparatus for feeding cigarettes and other rod-like articles comprising a reservoir, means for delivering articles into the reservoir, and means for delivering articles from the reservoir, the reservoir having a loopshaped configuration comprising parallel lengths joined at one end by a cross link which can move towards and away from the other end of the reservoir to vary the length of both of the said parallel lengths simultaneously, each of said reservoir lengths having a movable floor comprising conveyor means for supporting and moving articles in the reservoir, said means for delivering articles to the reservoir being in communication with one of the said reservoir lengths at the end remote from the cross link, and said means for delivering articles from the reservoir being in communication with the other reservoir length also at the end remote from the cross link.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,433,347 3/1969 Molins 198-37X 2,745,410 5/1956 Molins 53-59X 3,297,138 1/1967 McCombie 198-84 FOREIGN PATENTS 549,877 12/1942 Great Britain 198-37 EDWARD SROKA, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 198-76, 167
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4120391 *||Oct 23, 1973||Oct 17, 1978||Molins Limited||Conveyor systems for cigarettes and other rod-like articles|
|US5996769 *||Sep 15, 1998||Dec 7, 1999||Svedala Industries, Inc.||Conveyor system|
|US8327996||May 14, 2009||Dec 11, 2012||Int'l Tobacco Machinery Poland SP.ZO.O||Store-transport assembly for elongated rod shaped elements, as well as method of controlling mass flow and filling and emptying of store-transport assembly for elongated rod shaped elements|
|US8469181||Jul 15, 2010||Jun 25, 2013||International Tobacco Machinery Poland Sp.Zo.O||Store-transport device for elongated rod shaped elements|
|U.S. Classification||198/444, 198/502.2, 198/572|
|International Classification||A24C5/00, A24C5/35|