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Publication numberUS3736941 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 5, 1973
Filing dateMar 26, 1970
Priority dateApr 2, 1969
Also published asDE2015387A1, DE2015387C2, DE2066155B1
Publication numberUS 3736941 A, US 3736941A, US-A-3736941, US3736941 A, US3736941A
InventorsD Molins, F Labbe
Original AssigneeMolins Machine Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cigarettes and the like
US 3736941 A
Abstract
Cigarettes are made with a filler comprising an outer annulus of tobacco surrounding a core of a tobacco or other material different from that in the outer annulus. The annulus tobacco may be showered to form a layer which is then bent into a U-section to receive the core, after which further tobacco is showered on to the U-section plus core to enclose the core in tobacco. Alternatively the core material may be incorporated in the filler by pneumatically rolling a carpet of an annular of tobacco round the core.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [w] Molins et al.

[ June 5, 1973 [54] CIGARETTES AND THE LIKE [75] Inventors: Desmond W. Molins, London, England; Francis A. M. Labbe', Neuilly-sur-Seine, France [73] Assignee: Molins Machine Company Limited,

London, England [22] Filed: Mar. 26, 1970 [2]] Appl. No.: 22,955

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 2, 1969 Great Britain ..17,135/69 [52] US. Cl. ..l3l/2l R, 131/21 B, 131/84 B, 131/84C,13l/108 [51] Int. Cl ..A24c 5/18, A24c 5/34 [58] Field ofSearch ..13l/8,9,21 R,21 B, 131/21 D, 84 R, 84 C, 84 D, 108, 109 R, 109

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1931 Gilliam .131/8 5/1960 Lanore.... 7/1963 Korber ..131/84 R X 2,660,778 11/1953 Rault 131/84 B 1,183,618 5/1916 Aiton ....l3l/l09R 899,376 9/1908 Bergstraesser ..l3l/84 R 3,548,837 12/1970 Cristiani r ..131/84 B 2,570,270 10/1951 Patterson ..l3l/l08 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 981,954 2/1963 Great Britain ..l3l/84 C 331,333 7/1930 Great Britain r ..131/84 C 464,670 4/1950 Canada ..13 l/84 R Primary Examiner-Joseph S. Reich AttorneyLowry, Rinehart, Markva & Smith [57] ABSTRACT Cigarettes are made with a filler comprising an outer annulus of tobacco surrounding a core of a tobacco or other material different from that in the outer annulus. The annulus tobacco may be showered to form a layer which is then bent into a U-section to receive the core, after which further tobacco is showered on to the U-section plus core to enclose the core in tobacco. Alternatively the core material may be incorporated in the filler by pneumatically rolling a carpet of an annular of tobacco round the core.

5 Claims, 27 Drawing Figures CIGARETTES AND THE LIKE This invention is concerned with the manufacture of cigarettes and other similar rod-like articles for smoking. For convenience the invention will be described in terms of cigarettes, but it should be understood that the invention is also applicable to other smoking articles which may not strictly be regarded as cigarettes" but which nevertheless comprise a filler of tobacco particles enclosed in a wrapping. The term tobacco" will be used for convenience, but it should be understood that this is intended to include tobacco substitutes suitable for use in cigarettes or the like.

This invention is particularly concerned with the manufacture of cigarettes of which the filler includes a core of material different from the annulus of shredded tobacco lying just within the wrapping. The basis for this is that the taste of a cigarette is determined in part by the quality of the tobacco lying in an annulus close to the wrapping. Within this annulus the cigarette filler may include a core of different material, for example inferior tobacco or even a non-tobacco material, in a quantity which would not greatly affect the smokers appreciation of the cigarette.

According to this invention, while the cigarette filler is being formed, and before the filler reaches the wrapping material, a core of the desired core material is incorporated in the filler and is completely surrounded by the tobacco which subsequently forms an annulus just within the cigarette wrapping.

One possible core material for use according to this invention is reconstituted tobacco which may for example be used in the form of extruded strands. Another possible material is freeze-dried tobacco which may for example consist ofa mixture of tobacco dust and shredded tobacco stem and other low-quality tobacco. Freeze-dried tobacco has been found to have a relatively high filling power.

The core may alternatively be of non-tobacco material, for example a tasteless cellulose, one example of which is that known by the trade name CYTREL and made by Celanese Corporation.

Examples of apparatus for carrying out this invention are shown diagrammatically in the accompanying drawings. In these drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary schematic view showing part of one cigarette-making machine;

FIG. 2 is a section on the line IIII in FIG. 1, except that the width of the chimney (i.e. the small dimension) is shown exaggerated for the sake of clarity.

FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C are fragmentary sections on the lines A, B and C in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section on the line IVIV in FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale showing the final filler as it is carried into the garniture by the suction band;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2, showing a modificatron;

FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C are sections on the lines A, B and C in FIG. 5;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are longitudinal sections (unshaded for the sake of clarity) of two possible filler arrangements made by apparatus similar to that shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic view similar to FIG. 1 of another different machine;

FIGS. 10A to 10F are enlarged sections on the lines A to F in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a section showing a possible modification of the filler section shown in FIG. 10E;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary schematic plan view of another different machine;

FIG. 13 is a section on the line XIII--XIII in FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic side fragmentary view of another different machine;

FIGS. 15 and 16 are plan views respectively from above and below the machine shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 17 is a section on the line XVII-XVII in FIG. 14; and

FIG. 18 is an enlarged section of the central part of FIG. 17.

The apparatus shown in FIG. 1 comprises an airpervious suction band 10 which moves along the top of a narrow chimney defined by side walls 11 and 12 (FIG. 2) and end walls 13 and 14. A cigarette filler (not shown) is built up beneath the suction band as it passes over the chimney, and after passing a trimmer 15 the filler is carried by the band into a garniture 16 in which the filler is enclosed in a continuous web of paper 17 carried by a garniture tape 18. The filler is carried by the band 10 as a result of suction above the band; this suction is still present while the filler passes the trimmer 15, in which operation part of the filler is removed (namely the part 19 shown in FIG. 4) and the suction ends at the garniture so that the filler is allbwed to drop on to the paper web.

The chimney is divided into four compartments by internal walls 20, 21 and 22. In the first of these compartments, identified as 23, shredded toba'pco is carried upwards by air in the normal way to folrm an initial layer 24 of tobacco on the suction band, as shown in FIG. 3A This tobacco may comprise part or all of the tobacco removed by the trimmer; that is to say, the tobacco 19 (FIG. 4) removed by the trimmer is returned for example to a small hopper (not shown) from which a measured quantity is fed continuously to the bottom of the compartment 23. In the second compartment 25 lying between the internal walls 20 and 21, no further tobacco is carried, but air is allowed to flow upwards freely so as to assist in settling the initial layer 24 on the band before the band reaches the next compartment 26. In the compartment 26, particles of core material are carried upwards by air to form a narrow layer 27 (see especially FIG. 4), this layer being narrow because of inwardly projecting parts 28 on the side walls of the chimney. It will be appreciated that the first layer 24 should as far as possible be allowed to settle firmly against the suction band before the band passes over the compartment 26, because the layer 24 must pass over the upper surfaces of the parts 28; the clearance between the layer 24 and the parts 28 should preferably be as small as possible.

The last compartment 29 is the largest. During movement over this compartment, the suction band receives more tobacco to complete the enclosure of tobacco around the core 27 and to complete the tobacco stream as shown in section in FIG. 4; as shown in FIG. 4, the tobacco showered in the compartment 29 forms side portions 30 and a complete layer portion 31 which includes the part 19 which is subsequently removed by the trimmer 15.

The amount of tobacco removed by the trimmer 15 may for example be 20 to 25 percent by weight of the total filler (i.e. before trimming). The core may for example form approximately 20 percent by weight of the filler after trimming.

The tobacco delivered to the bottom end of the compartment 23 to form the initial layer 24 may be part or all of the tobacco removed by the trimmer 15 and may be fed into the compartment 23 without further winnowing having previously been winnowed during delivery into the compartment 29, for example as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,030,965.

Instead of the tobacco being showered upwards by means of air, as shown in FIG. 1, it could be showered downwards under gravity, with or without air assistance, on to a band running along the bottom of the shower channel, as for example, that shown in the above noted U.S. Pat. No. 3,030,965.

The apparatus shown in FIG. also includes a suction band 32 which moves along the top of a chimney up which tobacco particles are carried by air (though it is again possible to use instead an inverted arrangement producing a downward shower under gravity). The chimney has two compartments 33 and 34. In the compartment 33 a layer 35 of good shredded tobacco is built up on the suction band, as shown in FIG. 6A; this tobacco may be the discard from the trimmer (not shown) as in FIG. I. In the compartment 34, a deeper layer of similar tobacco is built up in the same manner as in the previous example. In FIG. 5, however, the core is not built up within the chimney but is preformed and is carried in as a continuous rod 36 guided by stationary guides 37 and 38. No tobacco is carried towards the suction band over the region of the guides 37 and 38. The tobacco flow resumes however subsequently in the compartment 34 so as to complete the formation of a filler as shown in FIG. 6C.

The core rod 36 may for example be extruded from reconstituted tobacco which may consist of tobacco dust with some tobacco shreds to provide a degree of cohesion. During manufacture the rod 36 may be drawn continuously from a bobbin.

As an alternative to a continuous core rod in FIG. 5, the apparatus may be arranged to feed pre-cut sections of core rod so as to form a cigarette filler as shown in FIG. 7 or FIG. 8. FIG. 7 shows an arrangement particularly suitable for filter-tipped cigarettes; here each rod section 39 extends through two cigarette lengths of the filler, but stops short of one end of each cigarette length so as to leave end portions 40 which are of good tobacco. The filler is finally out at lines 41, and it will be seen that each cigarette is thus formed with one good end and one end which will show the core. The good" end is intended to be the un-tipped end of the cigarette (i.e. the end remote from the filter which subsequently is attached to form a complete filter-tipped cigarette) while the other end is intended to have any suitable form of filter tip. The good end portions 40 ensure that the smokers first puff will be satisfactory; subsequently as the burning proceeds along the cigarette, the taste is determined by the quality of the annulus of tobacco around the core.

In FIG. 8, the core rod is fed in short sections 42 each of which ends short of the cut lines 43. This is particularly suitable for un-tipped cigarettes. It will be appreciated that the core rods 39 and 42 should be fed in timed relation to the cutter which subsequently cuts the continuous cigarette rod on the lines 41 and 43 respectively. FIGS. 9 and A to 10F show a different machine. A band 56 moves along the bottom ofa chute 58 down which good tobacco is showered (preferably with the aid of a downward air flow) to build up an initial layer 60 of which the edges are turned up slightly by means of forming rails 62. The band 56 runs on side walls 64 defining a suction chamber 66; as a result of the suction the layer 60 is held firmly against the band 56.

After leaving the chute 58, the band 56 passes round a pulley 68 and then continues along the top of a chimney 70 and finally returns round a second roller (not shown). The cross-sections of the forming rails 62 change progressively from the shapes shown in FIG. 10A to the shapes shown in FIG. 10B, thus bending the edges of the layer 60 as shown to form approximately a U-shape. The width of the layer 60 during this part of the forming operation reduces for example from 12.5 mm (in FIG. 10A) to 8.5 mm (in FIG. 10B). This bending outwards of the edges of the layer 60 is assisted by the centrifugal force, while a forming needle 72 (aided by suction through the band) holds the middle section of the layer against the band. A central slot 73 in the needle allows air to flow through the needle; alternatively the needle may be made of an air-pervious material. It will be appreciated that the interior 69 of the pulley 68 may form a continuation of the suction chamber 66 or may alternatively have increased suction if necessary.

While the layer 60 is being formed into a U shape, a core is formed continuously for insertion into the U, as shown in, FIG. 10C. This core is formed by showering core matefial (for example inferior quality tobacco) by means of air up a chimney 74 to build up a core stream 75 (see FIG. 10C). The core stream builds up against the undersurface of an air-pervious band 76 and is carried by suction past a trimmer 78 and then transferred to a tape 80. At the transfer point thetape is curved in section, being supported in a concave groove in a base block 82 (see particularly FIG. 10C). A scraper 84 helps to remove the core stream from the band 76, and an extension of the scraper serves as a tongue which progressively compresses the core stream into a slightly oval cross-section (see FIG. 10C). FIG. 10C shows the core stream 75 just before it is placed into the hollow of the tobacco layer 60.

Just before it reaches a pulley 86 the tape becomes flat to enable it to pass round the pulley 86, as shown in FIG. 10D.

It will be appreciated that the layer 60 remains with approximately the same cross-section while it passes roundthe pulley 68. The middle of the layer is held against the band 56 with the assistance of the forming needle 72 until just before the section shown in FIG. 10C, where, the tongue 84 enters the hollow of the layer 60 to guide the core stream 75 into position.

Air flow up the chimney 70 carries firstly a shower of tobacco shorts (for example to the right of the dotted line 88) to form a layer comprises mainly side portions 90 and 92 filling in the spaces on opposite sides of the core. During further movement to the left the partially formed filler carried (by suction) by the band 56 is completed by means of a shower of good tobacco (to the left of the dotted line 88). Thus a layer 94 (FIG. 10F) is formed. Part of this layer is preferably removed at about the line 96 by means ofa trimmer (not shown) which moves up and down automatically in response to signals from a filler monitoring system (for example as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,088,468).

The tobacco fed into the chute 58 to form the initial layer 60 may be part or all of the tobacco removed by the trimmer (not shown) downstream of the chimney 70.

As an alternative the initial layer may be formed by the stage of FIG. B or 10C into a deeper U shape, as shown in FIG. 11, so as largely to avoid the side portions 90 and 92 which require to be formed by shorts in FIG. 10E. MOreover, the deeper side portions 98 of the modified initial layer shown in FIG. 11 give more support to the core 75. With this arrangement an approximately flat layer 100 is formed by the shorts showered up the chimney 70; alternatively the initial shorts feed may be omitted, and the chimney 70 may serve to shower only good tobacco. In order to achieve a deeper U section, as shown in FIG. 11, the initial width of the layer when substantially flat (i.e. as shown in FIG. 10A) may be increased.

Instead of the core being formed in the manner just described, it may be formed in any other manner, for example by extrusion, and may be fed into the hollow of the layer 60 in the manner described and shown in F IGS5-8.

FIG. 12 shows an arrangement in which a carpet of tobacco is carried by a horizontal perforated band 44 and is rolled by the action of air in a stationary inverted trough 45 which extends obliquely across the band. The carpet consists of a narrow strip 46 of core material, for example low quality tobacco or tobacco shorts, and a wider strip 47 of good tobacco. The direction of movement of the band 44 is shown by the arrow 48 in FIG. 12.

Below the band there are two walls 49 and 50 defining a channel through which air is blown upwards through the band so as to roll over the carpet of tobacco within the trough 45. This rolling is assisted by air which flows freely upwards through the band (as shown by arrows 53) in the area downstream of the trough, and passes into the trough by flowing across the face of the band, between the band and a stationary triangular plate 51.

In view of the inclination of the trough 45 to the direction of movement of the band, the carpet of tobacco is rolled progressively from the left, so that the core material ends up at the center of the roll, as shown at 54. The final cigarette filler 52 is carried away along the right-hand edge of the band and may be held in a compressed state by suction below the band.

Upstream of the trough 45 there is preferably suction beneath the band, so that the carpet of tobacco on the band is held firmly compacted against the band until it reaches the rolling position.

The trough 45 is shown with a uniform section. It may alternatively increase progressively in width and depth towards its right-hand end.

The carpet may be formed on the band in various possible ways. For example, it may be showered on to the band either by gravity or by being carried pneumatically, or it may be transferred on to the band straight from a conventional carded drum; in the case of pneumatic showering the apparatus need not necessarily be in the orientation shown but could be in any desired orientation, while in the other cases the apparatus could for example simply be inverted. Moreover, the filler rolling apparatus shown in FIG. 12 could also be used to form a cigarette filler consisting of a substantially uniform blend of tobacco, that is to say without a core of different material.

The examples shown in FIGS. 14 to 18 illustrate extensions of the principal of the example shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. As shown in FIG. 18, a carpet of tobacco carried by an air pervious band 102 with the aid of suction is rolled into a continuous cigarette filler in a trough 104 in substantially the same way as in the previous example. The compressed air which produces the rolling action within the trough is delivered from a box 106 via an inclined nozzle 108 (see FIG. 18). The final tobacco stream is fed from the band 102 to a garniture 110 by means of a suction wheel 111. In the garniture a web 112 is wrapped round the tobacco stream to produce a continuous cigarette rod.

During the rolling operation the tobacco carpet is carried by suction below the band 102, having been formed by showering down a narrow chute 1 l4 (preferably with the aid of a downward air flow through the chute). As shown in FIG. 15, the chute 114 extends obliquely across the band 102.

In order to form the tobacco stream with a core of different material, as in the previous example, the carpet on the band 102 consists of a narrow strip 116 of core material and a wider strip 118 of good tobacco. These strips are formed by showering the core material and good tobacco respectively through zones 120 and 122 in the chute 114; these zones may be separated by a partition wall 124, but that is not essential.

Between the upper and lower runs of the band 102 there is a suction box 126 (see FIG. 17), and there is also suction is a drum 128 round which the band passes. Within the drum 128 there is a quarter-circular shutter disc 130 which is so arranged that it can move bodily in the direction of the axis of the drum 128. Between the shutter disc 130 and the adjacent end of the drum 128 there is no suction (or insufficient suction) to hold the tobacco carpet against centrifugal force, so that a narrow strip 132 is discarded. The width of this strip varies according to the position of the shutter disc at any given moment. A control (not shown) may be included to vary the position of the disc in response, for example, to signals from a scanning device monitoring the final density of the cigarette rod. Alternatively (or in addition) the shutter disc may be moved by means 133 responsive to the pressure in air cell 134 (FIG. 14); the pressure in the cell varies in accordance with the pressure drop through the carpet. I

The suction box 126 between the upper and lower runs of the band 102 reduces progressively from the right-hand end of the trough 104 to the left-hand end.

It will be seen that the trough 104 increases in depth and in width, from the right to the left, as the roll of tobacco builds up.

As an idea of scale, the band 102 may be 10 to 13 centimeters wide.

What we claim as our invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. In apparatus for making a cigarette filler stream, comprising a. support means movable along a predetermined path,

b. means for forming on said support means a carpet comprising strips lying side-byside, said strips comprising annulus tobacco particles and core material particles, respectively,

c. a trough arranged obliquely across the support means and extending obliquely downstream from the side of the support means adjacent the core material, and

(1. means for blowing air into the trough to roll the carpet progressively in the trough to form a filler rod,

e. whereby the core material is incorporated substantially along the center of the rod.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said support means is elongated, has a variable width and is airpermeable and moves along a path including a curved section, said apparatus further comprising suction means to hold said carpet on said support means as it passes along said curved section, and an adjustable shutter means adjacent to the said curved section responsive to filler density detecting means to vary the proportion of the width of said support means through which air is drawn by the suction whereby the amount of particles thrown off by centrifugal force from one edge of said carpet as said support means passes along said curved section can be controlled.

3. Apparatus for making a cigarette filler stream, comprising a core of core material surrounded by an annulus of tobacco particles, the apparatus comprising a. support means movable along a predetermined path,

b. means for forming on said support means a carpet of annulus tobacco particles,

0. means for feeding core material on to said support means along one side of said carpet, and a trough arranged obliquely across the support means and extending obliquely downstream from the side of the support means adjacent the core material, and

(1. means for blowing air into the trough to roll the carpet progressively in the trough and around the core material to form a cigarette filler stream,

e. whereby the core material is incorporated substantially along the center of the cigarette filler stream.

prising 4. A method of making cigarettes and the like comprising b. continuously feeding said carpet along a path pasta trough extending obliquely across the carpet in a downstream direction from the side of the carpet containing the core material strip, and

c. directing ajet of air into said trough and carpet in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axis of said trough to progressively roll the carpet beginning at the core material strip side and ending at the annulus tobacco strip side to form a filler rod in which the core material is incorporated substantially along the center of the rod.

5. A method of making cigarettes and the like com a. forming a carpet comprising strips lying side-byside on a moving support, said strips comprising annulus tobacco particles and core material particles, respectively,

b. determining the density of said carpet, causing said moving support with said carpet to move along a circular path and throwing off a portion of the tobacco particles along one side of said carpet by centrifugal action while retaining the remainder of said carpet on said moving support by suction means, adjusting the width of carpet retained on said moving support by said suction means in accordance with the density of said filler rod, and

c. progressively rolling the carpet beginning at the core material strip side and ending at the annulus tobacco strip side to form a filler rod in which the core material is incorporated substantially along the center of the rod.

' UNITED STATES PATENT 01mm CERTIFICATE OF CQR C'HN Patent No. 3 736, 9 41 Dated June 5, 1973 Desmond W. Molins and Francis A. M.- Labb It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Cover page, second column, line 1 (list of United States patent references cited), "2,660,778" should read 2,660,178

In the drawings Figures 2, 9, lOB and 14 should appear as shown on the attached sheet.

Signed and sealed this 20th dayof November 1973.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. RENE D, TEGTMEYER Attesting Officer Acting'Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-105O (1-0- USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 W U45, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I969 0-366-384

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US3880171 *Dec 4, 1972Apr 29, 1975Brown & Williamson TobaccoProduction of smoking articles
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Classifications
U.S. Classification131/84.3, 131/906, 131/110, 131/84.4, 131/108
International ClassificationA24C5/18, A24C5/14
Cooperative ClassificationY10S131/906, A24C5/1821
European ClassificationA24C5/18D