US 3672541 A
An apparatus in which cigarettes are ejected in batches in an endwise direction from chutes in which the cigarettes are disposed in vertical stacks. To permit high speed of operation, the cigarettes are urged downwardly in the chutes by air jets so that following the ejection of a batch of cigarettes from the chutes, the next batch to be ejected will move quickly into ejection position. To prevent tilting of the cigarettes in the chutes, the ends of the cigarettes next to drop into ejection position are engaged by a stop member until the ejecting member is withdrawn from beneath the cigarettes, whereupon the stop member is withdrawn and the cigarettes dropped to ejection position while remaining horizontal. The supply of compressed air to the nozzles is preferably regulated so as to take place at about the instant the cigarettes are to drop to ejection position.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Niepmann 51 June 27, 1972  FEEDING DEVICE FOR CIGARETTES 2,342,680 2/1944 Melzer 198/20 FOR CIGARETTE PACKING MACHI E p N s FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 72 Inventor: Otto Nie mann Gevelsber ,German 1 p g y 869,729 3/1953 Germany ..221/278  Assignee: Maschinenfabrik Fr. Niepmann & Co.,
Gevelsberg, Germany Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunk I Assistant Examiner-H. S. Lane  Fned' 1969 Attorney-Walter Becker ] Appl. No.: 838,253
 ABSTRACT  Foreign Application Priority Data An apparatus in which cigarettes are ejected in batches in an endwise direction from chutes in which the cigarettes are July 2, 1968 Germany ..P 17 57 970.3 disposed in vertical stacks To permit high Speed of operation the cigarettes are urged downwardly in the chutes by air jets so  U.S.CI ..221/68,221/252, 2231457381, that following the ejection of a batch of cigarettes from the chutes, the next batch to be ejected will move quickly into  Int. Cl ..B65g 59/00 ti T v t of th ar n th 58 Field ofSearch ..302/2, 31; 221/93,'278, 68, 1 e chutes, the ends of the cigarettes next to drop into e ection 221/252, 198/20 C, 14, 20
position are engaged by a stop member until the e ecting member is withdrawn from beneath the cigarettes, whereupon  Rem-wees Cited the stop member is withdrawn and the cigarettes dropped to UNITED STATES PATENTS ejection position while remaining horizontal. The supply of compressed air to the nozzles is preferably regulated so as to 2,682,983 7/1954 Ashcroft 221/93 k place t b t th i t t th i a ett are t d t 2,778,476 l/l957 Engleson et al ..221/93 ejection position 3,l06,282 10/1963 Schmermund ..221/93 3,127,971 4/1964 Schmermund 193/14 5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures FEEDING DEVICE FOR CIGARE'I'IES FOR CIGARETTE PACKING MACHINES The invention relates to apparatus for feeding a batch of cigarettes to a cigarette packing machine with a supply hopper having chutes associated therewith.
In known forms of feed apparatus a batch of cigarettes is fed periodically out of a feed hopper and chutes onto a conveyor mechanism and is carried onto a packer feed track.
This process takes place without friction or trouble up to a particular machine operating speed in the region of 250 to 300 revolutions per minute. However,- as soon as the running speed of the cigarette packing machine is increased, the drop speed of the cigarettes in the feed hopper no longer sufiices to ensure a trouble-free feed.
In order to accommodate the increased operational speeds, it is known to increase the number of feed hoppers and associated apparatus, the batches of cigarettes being ejected along a number of paths, then being aligned behind one another on the packer feed track beyond. This method, however, entails considerable mechanical complication, which is expensive and to some extent defeats the. purpose of the desired increase in the output of the cigarette packing machine.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a feeding apparatus of the above mentioned general character which will overcome the above mentioned drawbacks without multiplying the drop chute blocks, ejectors, and receiving cells.
It is another object of this invention to provide a feeding apparatus as set forth in the preceding paragraph, which even at high speed of rotation will assure a trouble-free dropping of the cigarettes onto the base plate of the hopper without reducing the time available for the reciprocatory movement of the ejector.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of an apparatus for feeding cigarettes in accordance with the invention, and
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the apparatus of FIG. 1 shown partly in section.
According to the invention, there is provided an apparatus for feeding a batch of cigarettes to a cigarette packing machine, comprising a hopper having at its bottom end a number of chutes arranged to be gravity fed with cigarettes, a base plate beneath the chutes for supporting a batch of cigarettes within the chutes, a downwardly-directed nozzle, mounted on the internal wall of the hopper and arranged to be connected to a supply of compressed gas, a reciprocable member arranged to push a batch of cigarettes from the base plate into an arbor and conveying means arranged to transfer said batch from the arbor to the cigarette packing apparatus.
Further according to the invention, there is provided an apparatus for feeding a batch of cigarettes to a cigarette packing machine, comprising a cigarette feed hopper having a nozzle on its internal wall, said nozzle being directed towards the discharge end of the hopper and being arranged for connection to a supply of compressed gas.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, the feed mechanism for use with a cigarette packing machine (not shown in its entirety) according to the invention comprises a feed hopper 1, having a front plate 10, a back plate 1b, and chutes 3, as shown most clearly in FIG. 1. The bottom end of the chutes 3 is closed by a base plate 2 which supports the batch of cigarettes that is to be fed to the packing apparatus.
The cigarettes on the base plate 2 are pushed, by a reciprocating ejector 4, equipped with fingers arranged in three superimposed rows, into an arbor 5, which, as soon as the cigarettes have entered it, is lowered from the position shown in solid line to the position shown in broken line in FIG. 2. When it is in the lower position, a flight 7a on a conveyor chain 7, moves the batch of cigarettes out of the arbor and along a packer feed track 6, to the packing apparatus.
To increase the speed of fall of the cigarettes in the chutes, the front and back plates la, lb are each equipped with a compressed-air pipe 8, fitted with air nozzles, 8a, directed obliquely downwards. These compressed-air pipes 8 are connected by a feed pipe 9, to a supply of compressed air. There is inserted in the pipe 9, between the compressed-air pipes 8 and the compressed-air supply, a control valve (not shown), which is opened briefly while the ejector 4 is in the retracted position. The sudden air flow from the air nozzles accelerates the fall of the cigarettes so that the speed of the cigarette packing machine can be increased without upsetting the cigarette feed. The control valve can be operated, for example, by means of a cam rotating in synchronism with other parts of the apparatus. The exact moment of operation of the valve can be controlled by adjustment of the cam.
Pivoted to the front la of the feed hopper 1, below the compressed-air pipe 8, is a hook-like retaining plate 10, which latches under the front ends of the bottom row of cigarettes within the chutes 3. When the ejector 4 is fully retracted from the chutes 3, the retaining strip 10 is likewise briefly swung clear of the chutes 3, so that a further batch of cigarettes can then drop horizontally downwards onto the base plate 2, whereupon they are contacted by the fingers of the ejector 4 and pushed into the holder 5. The front ends of the cigarettes are not released by the plate 10 until the ejector 4, which also serves to support the cigarettes in the chutes has just retracted clear of the rear ends of the cigarettes, thus ensuring that the cigarettes fall horizontally.
It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the particular showing in the drawing, but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for feeding batches of cigarettes and comprising: a hopper having a plurality of chutes leading downwardly therefrom and terminating in side by side relation, each chute being adapted to receive a stack of cigarettes by gravity from the hopper with the received cigarettes in horizontal position, a base plate at the bottom of said chutes to support the cigarettes therein, said chutes being open at the ends of the cigarettes therein to permit endwise ejection of the cigarettes from the chutes, a member reciprocable in the direction of the length of the cigarettes and having pin means thereon to engage the ends of the cigarettes to be ejected so as to push the cigarettes from the chutes, the cigarettes in the chutes above the ones ejected therefrom dropping to ejection position upon retraction of said reciprocable member following an ejection stroke thereof, and means localized at the lower exit end of said chutes and for urging said cigarettes downwardly in said chutes to speed up the said dropping thereof to ejection position, said means including nozzle means operable for inclined directing, opposite to each other briefly during retraction of said reciprocable member, only two jets of compressed air transversely against longitudinal axis of cigarettes in said chutes in the generally downward direction.
2. An apparatus according to claim 1, in which said nozzle means are arranged inclined to the drop direction along opposite ends of said chutes near the ends of cigarettes in said chutes and are adapted to be supplied with compressed air.
3. An apparatus according to claim 2, in which said nozzle means are located angularly downwardly and inwardly at a level such as to cause the jets therefrom to impinge against the cigarettes which will be uppermost in the chutes when the cigarettes are horizontally in ejection position.
4. An apparatus according to claim 1, which includes a stop member on the side of said chutes toward which the cigarettes are ejected adapted to engage beneath the adjacent ends of the lowermost non-ejected horizontal cigarettes in said chutes respectively, and means for withdrawing said stop member from holding rail relationship beneath the adjacent ends of said cigarettes to permit the cigarettes to drop to ejection position.
5. An apparatus according to claim 4, in which the said stop member is adapted for being pivotally withdrawn from holding rail relationship beneath the adjacent ends of said cigarettes at about the same time as said pin means.