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Publication numberUS3840028 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 8, 1974
Filing dateMay 15, 1972
Priority dateMay 15, 1972
Publication numberUS 3840028 A, US 3840028A, US-A-3840028, US3840028 A, US3840028A
InventorsYatrides G
Original AssigneeYatrides G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for producing blind conduits in cigarettes
US 3840028 A
Abstract
Apparatus for treating cigarettes in which a blind conduit is formed in the lighting extremity of the cigarette and terminates in an air-tight wall, placed in position at the bottom of the conduit so formed by punching means, the apparatus comprising essentially a ring provided with a plurality of radial grooves, each groove intended to house a cigarette, a plurality of successive conduit-punching devices and devices for introducing the air-tight bottom walls, and also provided with tubes and ejector devices on the outside periphery of said ring, while on the inside periphery of said ring is provided an evacuation passage for the cigarettes ejected towards an evacuation ramp, and above said ring a plurality of narrow, vertically elongated hoppers supply at least some of said grooves, said ring being rotated so as to bring a groove alternately in front of a punching and introducing device and an ejector device or vice-versa.
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limited States Patent [191 Yatrides APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING BLIND CONDUITS 1N CIGARETTES [76] Inventor: Georges Alexandre Yatrides, 2 Rue Pierre Termier, 38-Grenoble, France [22] Filed: May 15, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 253,194

[52] 1.1.5. Cl 131/253, 131/13, 131/21 R,

[51] lint. C1. A244: 05/48 [58] Field 01' Search 131/11, 12, 13, 83 A, 82, 131/253, 254, 255, 93, 94

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 428,394 5/1890 Hoops, Jr 131/13 956,022 4/1910 Baer 131/83 A 1,217,590 2/1917 Goldberger 131/13 1,996,962 4/1935 Hoke et a1. 131/254 UX 2,244,142 6/1941 Clausen 131/254 X 2,929,384 3/1960 Eissmann 131/83 A 2,979,059 4/1961 Markovich 131/13 3,199,515 8/1965 Lowe et a1. 131/254 X 3,205,899 9/1965 Ackermann 131/254 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 539.658 11/1931 Germany 131/13 Oct. 8, 1974 65,754 l2/l892 Germany 131/13 278,534 10/1927 Great Britain 1151/13 Primary ExaminerJoseph S. Reich Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Young & Thompson [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus for treating cigarettes in which a blind conduit is formed in the lighting extremity of the cigarette and terminates in an air-tight wall, placed in position at the bottom of the conduit so formed by punching means, the apparatus comprising essentially a ring provided with a plurality of radial grooves, each groove intended to house a cigarette, a plurality of successive conduit-punching devices and devices for introducing the air-tight bottom walls, and also provided with tubes and ejector devices on the outside periphery of said ring, while on the inside periphery of said ring is provided an evacuation passage for the cigarettes ejected towards an evacuation ramp, and above said ring a plurality of narrow, vertically elongated hoppers supply at least some of said grooves, said ring being rotated so as to bring a groove alternately in front of a punching and introducing device and an ejector device or vice-versa.

7 Claims, 31 Drawing Figures PAIENTEDUIIT 1m 7 3.840.028

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PATENTEDIJET 81914 3.840.028

sum :05 M10 PATENIED 74 sum 01 av 10 R) WAN PATENTED 81974 sum us at 10 Now whim-I- APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING BLIND CONDUITS IN CIGARETTES The present invention relates to an automatic machine permitting the formation in any cigarette, provided or not with a filter tip and irrespective of its length and its diameter, of an air-admission conduit permeable to air and extending from an opening in the initial lighting extremity at which it opens to the free air, towards a suction-extremity zone at which the said conduit has a bottom wall impermeable to gases, and known hereinafter as the air-tight bottom wall.

The air-tight bottom wall is formed by means such as disks, conical or round hoods, spheres, full cylinders or the like, forming an obstacle to the indrawn gases and the smoke.

In accordance with one form of construction, the airadmission conduit is formed either by a simple agglomeration of tobacco or by a permeable or perforated sheath of paper, tobacco or more or less rigid material. This sheath may or may not be combustible. According to one alternative form, when this sheath is not combustible, the smoker can remove it before consuming the cigarette.

The fluid-tight bottom wall is preferably constituted by a hood, the introduction of which into the body of tobacco is facilitated by its conical shape. Furthermore, a hollow cylinder may be associated therewith in order to keep intact the conduit thus formed, this hollow cylinder being removed by the smoker before consuming the cigarette.

According to the invention, the arrangement of a conduit with a fluid-tight bottom wall in ordinary cigarettes is carried out following manufacture of these cigarettes by a conventional machine, and before they are packeted.

Certain characteristic features and advantages of a practical form of the invention will be more clearly understood from the description which follows below, given by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, 11 and 12 are partially exploded sectional views schematically showing six procedures whereby blind conduits may be produced in cigarettes according to the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a view in perspective, partly in crosssection, of the main parts of the machine according to the invention;

FIG. 14 is a view in perspective, partly in crosssection, of the rotating ring, of the central supporting plate, of the evacuation device and of the controls located underneath the said central supporting plate of the machine according to the invention;

FIGS. 15 and 16 are fragmentary views in perspective, partly in cross-section, similar to the evacuation device of FIG. 14, representing alternative forms of evacuation, according to the invention;

FIG. 17 is a view in perspective, partly in crosssection, of the receptacle device with its emptying device and of the mobile distributor device according to the invention;

FIG. 18 is an exploded view in perspective with parts in cross-section and parts broken away, of a piercing punch and a tube associated with a conical hood according to the invention;

FIG. 19 is a view in perspective, partially in crosssection, of the vertical hoppers supplying the grooved rotating ring and of a piercing device according to the invention;

FIG. 20 is a view in perspective, partly in crosssection, showing in enlarged detail the blocking device for ordinary cigarettes during their treatment, shown in FIG. 19, according to the invention;

FIG. 21 is an exploded view in perspective, partly in crosssection, of the slide of a piercing device according to the invention;

FIG. 22 is an exploded view in cross-section with parts broken away, showing an alternative form of the arrangement of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a view in cross-section of the mobile distributor for untreated cigarettes above the reservoir ring, according to the invention;

FIG. 24 is a partial view in cross-section of the emp tying device in the return position of the emptied collector, according to the invention;

FIG. 25 is a view partly in perspective of the blocking device of the mobile distributor underneath the emptying device of the receptacle as shown in FIG. 17;

FIG. 26 is a partial plan view of the photo-electric cell device which acts on the blocking device fixed on the distributor device and intended to block the mobile distributor, according to the invention;

FIG. 27 is a view in perspective, partly in crosssection, of one of the dispensing devices depositing the untreated cigarettes one by one in the grooves of the rotating ring, according to the invention;

FIG. 28 is a plan view similar to that of FIG. 19, showing an alternative form of construction comprising a pre-piercing device facilitating the introduction of disks, according to the invention;

FIG. 29 is an enlarged view in perspective of the piercing device partly shown in FIG. 28, in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 30 is a view in cross-section of the device for driving the band of a more or less flexible material, shown in FIG. 29, this band being intended to supply the material of the disks in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 31 is a view in cross-section of the cutter-punch device for introducing the disks, in accordance with the invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that an untreated cigarette (FIG. in) having a full body of tobacco 4b with a suction extremity 32 and an initial lighting extremity 42, is subjected to a pre-piercing operation (FIG. lb) by means of a pre-piercing punch which may be rotatable and which forms, from the initial lighting extremity 42, a conduit 7x extending to a small distance from the suction extremity 32.

After this, as shown in FIG. 2c, a cutter-punch cuts out a disk 6 and places it at the bottom of the conduit 7x. The cigarette 4j thus treated can be provided with a tube 9e, as shown in FIG. 2d, ensuring the maintenance of the conduit 7x over a period of time, this tube being removed if it is not combustible. The introduction of this tube may be effected by the cutter-punch 80. This tube 9e may be introduced at the same time as the disk 6. 7

FIGS. 3a and 3b and 4c and 4d are similar to FIGS. 1 and 2, with the sole difference that the disk 6 has been replaced by a sphere 6b and that the tool 80 is only required to extract the spheres in succession from a storage device.

FIGS. 5a and 5b and 6c and 6d are also similar to FIGS. 1 and 2, with the difference that the disk 6 is replaced in this case by a conical hood 9f which has a housing adapted to receive the pyramidal extremity 7e of the rotating punch or 70', permitting rotation of the hood 9f during its introduction.

In accordance with FIGS. 70 and 7b and 8c, the conduit 9e and the pastille 6 of FIGS. 1 and 2 are replaced in this case by a single introduction element 9w, with a perforated body terminating in a non-perforated point 9x. In this case, the body 9w is preferably combustible.

In accordance with FIGS. 9a and 9b and 100 and 10d, the pre-piercing (FIG. 9b) is effected right through from the suction extremity 32 and in this extremity 32 there is fixed a filter tip 2y having a cylindrical section 6a. A tube 9v can be placed in position before fixing the filter tip 2y.

According to FIGS. 11 and 12, a cigarette 4b (FIG. 11a) is pierced through from the suction end (FIG. 11b), and a disk 6 is fixed to the filter 2y. Filter 2y may be fixed on the cigarette either immediately so as to close the tobacco conduit 7x (FIG. 12c) or after having introduced the tube 9e so as to close said tube 9e (FIG. 12d).

Referring now to FIG. 17, there are shown on the one hand the driving controls of the collectors 100, filled with untreated cigarettes 104b, and on the other hand the controls of the receptacle l00b which receives the cigarettes and feeds them into the mobile distributor 100c.

The travelling band 171 can carry out alternate pivotal movement with a limited travel about shaft 1710 which is coupled to an electric motor (not shown) which provides the forward movement of the travelling band 171. A collector 100 filled with untreated cigarettes causes by its weight a downward pivotal movement of the travelling band 171 through a few degrees between 1 and and preferably about 2, about the shaft as an axis 1710.

The travelling band 171 by pivoting acts on the multiple contactor 172s which can on the one hand prevent this travelling band 171 from working as long as the mobile distributor 1006 is moving in the direction of the arcuate arrow in the lower right portion of FIG. 17, in a manner to be described later, and on the other hand, it can re-establish an electric contact.

The closure of this latter contact starts-up the electric motor (not shown) which causes a forward movement of the band 171, thus placing a collector 100 onto a shelf 170k which extends horizontally from the vertical cover 1000. The cover is pivotally mounted by means of a hinge 100p on the upper end portion thereof and is capable of being rotated through 180 as shown by the double headed arrow shown in FIG. 17. This cover being pushed by this action against the receptacle 100b, operates by means of the multiple contactor 1720 the stopping of the travelling band 171. The collector 100 being held on the shelf 170k and being no longer supported on the travelling band 171, enables this latter to pivot again under the action of a spring (not shown) which has been compressed by the collec tor 100 during its forward movement on the said travelling band.

This travelling band, thus freed from the weight of the collector is then restored to its upper initial position, in which it establishes a contact to start-up the electric motor which drives and actuates the emptying device. A driving shaft 173j rotates and acts through the bevel pinion 173d on the bevel pinion 173b which actuates the crank-arm l70n. The crank-arm 170n acts on the cover 100a through the intermediary of the finger 100m which is rigidly fixed to this cover, and causes the latter to pivot through about 180 on its hinge 100;). The cover 100a causes the collector 100 to pivot with it, and thus enables it to empty the untreated cigarettes which it contains, into the waiting receptacle 10%.

FIG. 25 shows details of the controls which block the mobile distributor 1006 under the receptacle 100b, and permits a clearer understanding of FIG. 17. It is shown in FIG. 25 that the crank-arm l70n at the mid-point of its travel, is no longer supported with its stud 250y on the lever 250x, permitting this latter to rock about its axis 250p which is fixed by the bearing 250w secured on the receptacle 100b. By rocking, the lever 250x enables a bolt 250v to slide in its bearings 250s and 2502. As it moves down, the bolt 250v prevents the mobile distributor 1000, driven by the lever 103 (FIGS. 13 and 17) from moving under the receptacle l00b before the collector 100 (FIG. 17) has emptied the untreated cigarettes into this receptacle.

Referring again to FIG. 17, it is seen that, during the travel of the cover 1000 in order to reach its uppermost position, the cam 173k acts on the lever 173a which pivots on its axis, compressing the spring 1731', and actuates the lever l73n. This latter acts through the levers 173m on the shafts of the shutters 1736 which causes these shutters to pivot about the axis A shown in FIG. 17. These thus close the bottom of the receptacle b, in which are collected the cigarettes emptied out of the collector 100.

FIG. 24, in correlation with FIG. 17, shows the cover 100a in its uppermost position, in which a free hook 2402 which is housed in the shelf k of the cover, rocks on its axis and engages the edge of the empty collector 100, forcing this latter to return with the cover 100a to its lower position.

Again referring to FIG. 17, a cam 1732 rotates at the same time as the cover 100a, returns to its bottom position and enables the roller 173]" to enter the hollow portion of this cam, which causes the lever 173g to pivot on its axis. The lever 173g is pulled by the spring 1731 and acts through the intermediary of the rod 173k on the lever 173p, causing it to pivot on its shaft which is fixed on its support. By pivoting counter-clockwise as seen in FIG. 17, this lever 173p ejects the emptied collector 100 from the shelf 170k of the cover 100a.

The emptied collector 100 which has been ejected to the side of the emptying device will move along rails (not shown) so as to rejoin the evacuation device for treated cigarettes, which is located underneath the general support of the machine, in which the collector 100 is filled with treated cigarettes.

The cover 100a arriving at its bottom position again acts on the multiple contactor 172e, breaking the electric current to the motor which actuates the shaft 173j, bringing this latter to a stop. The multiple contactor 172a establishes the contact which starts-up the motor of the travelling band 171.

According to FIG. 26, this motor can operate only if the band 171 has rocked into its bottom position and if the photo-electric cell 262e which is located at the side of the ring reservoir 134, is illuminated by the beam of light 262d. This beam comes from the source of light 262, passes through the transparent mobile distributor 1000 and the prism 262a carried by this latter and strikes photo-electric cell 262e. The purpose of this photoelectric cell 262e and of the corresponding devices subjected to its action will be explained later.

Continuing the description of FIG. 17, the cover 1100a, while it pivots so as to return to its bottom position, acts on the lever 171n which pivots about its shaft, this latter being fixed on its support. The lever 171n acts through the rod 171k on the lever 171 f. This latter pivots on its shaft which comprises, on the other side of the travelling band 171, a lever (not shown) which is of the same design as the lever 17 If. This latter lever is provided with a ratchet 171j to which is applied the pressure of the spring 171i; this ratchet 171] can pivot by 90 about a shaft which is formed on the end of the lever 171f. As it pivots on its shaft, this lever causes a forward movement of a collector 100 by pushing it with its ratchet 171j.

The collector 100 thus passes from the travelling band 171a to the band 171. At the same time, it acts on the toothed rack 171d by the stud 171L. The toothed rack 171d is in engagement with the pinion 171e which acts on a ratchet wheel 1710 driving the roller 171b of the travelling band 171a. Thus the toothed rack 171d causes the travelling band 171a to advance at the same time that the lever 17lf pushes a collector 100 from the travelling band 171a on to the pivoting band 171, namely for a distance sufficient for the said lever to return and again hook a collector 100, which follows.

.1" he toothed rack 171d comprises a rod 17lh which slides in its bearings 171m and which works under the pressure of the spring 17 lg. This toothed rack compresses the said spring at the same time that is causes the travelling band 171a to move forward. This spring 171g as it expands, re-sets the toothed rack 171d for a fresh advance of the travelling band 171a and brings back the lever 17111 into a position which enables it again to be subjected to the thrust of the cover 100a.

After the ejection of the emptied collector 100, the cam 173k no longer acts on the lever 1730, by the pressure of its spring 173i, and so the lever 173a immediately opens the shutters 1730 by vertical swinging movement about axis A, thus permitting the cigarettes to fall into the vertical compartments (not shown) of the mobile distributor 1000.

According to FIGS. 25 and 26, this mobile distributor 100C is made of transparent material, and in particular it comprises a prism 262a. As soon as the cigarettes are emptied from the collector and have fallen into the mobile distributor 1000, they prevent the beam of light 262d from reaching the prism 262a and from being refracted by it, so as to excite the photo-electric cell 262e. This latter actuates the electromagnetic bolt 250r in its coil 250q. The positions of this bolt thus correspond to the level of cigarettes in the mobile distributor 1000.

The blocking position of the bolt 250r corresponds to the mobile distributor emtpy, while the unlocked position of this bolt corresponds to the mobile distributor full of cigarettes. This mobile distributor 1000 which is driven by a mechanism with a friction clutch (not shown) carries out its circular travel in one direction only (see FIG. 13). The distributor 1000, blocked underneath the receptacle l00b by the mechanical bolt 250v and by the electro-magnetic bolt 250r, can resume its travel only when the hinged cover a is in its lower position and when the mobile distributor 100a is not emptied to the point that it may contain or receive the volume of cigarettes from a full collector.

The mobile distributor 100C filled with cigarettes can continue to its circular travel while distributing the cigarettes along the whole length of this travel by allowing them to pass out through its emptying orifice 170L (FIG. 17) into the bottom of the ring 134, this latter serving as a reservoir for untreated cigarettes.

FIG. 13 represents a general view of the main components of the machine according to the invention and their successive or simultaneous action, from the reception of the untreated cigarettes at the top of the machine to their treatment (formation of a conduit with an airtight bottom wall). Vertical reservoirs 134a in the form of slender hoppers interconnect the bottom of the ring reservoir 134 with the rotating ring with grooves 135a located below, and which they supply with untreated cigarettes 104b. These reservoirs or hoppers are transparent and are preferably provided with widened upper spouts which communicate with the bottom of the ring reservoir 134.

The cigarettes deposited in the ring reservoir 134 fill the vertical hoppers 134a, thus permitting a reserve of cigarettes to be formed which ensures a constant feed of the rotating ring 135. The upper portions of the vertical hoppers comprise stirring devices 1340 which are actuated by rods 134d all arranged around the rotating ring 135. These rods 134d act on rocking levers which in turn act through'the levers 134f on the slots of the stirring devices 134c. These latter bring the cigarettes down to the bottom of the ring 134 in the vertical hoppers 134a.

The rods 134d slide in their bearings 134g which are fixed on the walls of the vertical hoppers 134a. Each bearing 134g comprises a spring 134e which brings back the rod 134d into its position of rest. It carries out vertical to-and-fro movements under the action of the spring 134e and the cam 134i fixed on the rack 135p which is in mesh with pinion 1350 over its whole periphery. The said cam acts on the roller 134k of the rod 134d. The rack 135p in the form of a toothed ring is fixed on the rotating ring 135. The toothed ring is driven by the pinion 1350 which thus causes the grooved rotating ring 135 to rotate.

Grooves 135a are arranged along the radii of the rotating ring 135. These grooves receive the cigarettes 104b which are to be treated. Hoppers 139g and hoppers for fluid-tight bottom walls 139h are distributed around the ring 135. They contain tubes 139e and conical hoods l39f, these tubes and hoods being intended to be introduced into the untreated cigarettes 104b. They are thrown in bulk into different vibrator bowls, one of which is shown respectively at 139 and 139a. These bowls supply the tube reservoirs 139g with tubes 139e and conical hoolds l39f by directing them into circular gutters 1390 and 139d. The vibrating bowl 139a orientates the hoods [39f and causes them to slide along the slope 1391; before directing them by its gutter 139d.

The tubes 139a and the conical hoods l39f follow the slope of the circular gutters 1390 and 139d and fall through openings in these latter into their respective reservoirs.

FIG. 27 shows the detail of the controls of the dispensing device which enables the vertical reservoirs 1340 to supply the grooves 135a of the rotating ring 135 with untreated cigarettes 104b and deposits these cigarettes one by one.

The vertical tube reservoirs 134a, for untreated cigarettes supplying the grooves 1350 of the rotating ring 135 comprise at their lower portions a dispensing device comprising shutters 274n, 2740, 274p, 274q pivoting on their shafts, 274m, 274r, 274s, 274! by the action of the levers 274a, 274v, 274w, 274x, 274y.

These levers are actuated by an abutment 274k with an adjustable height, which acts on the rod 274] fixed to the shaft 274m. The vertical to-and-fro movement of the rod 134d which ensures the operation of the dispensing device, is obtained by the cam 134i, through the intermediary of the roller l34h of the rod 134d. It can be seen that this dispensing device deposits the cigarettes one by one in the groove 135a. A groove 275s extending the whole length of the groove 135a permits the evacuation of the scraps of tobacco which may have fallen from the cigarettes.

In FIG. 14 are shown the controls of the rotating ring 135 located on the machine support on the one hand, and on the other hand those of devices for the treatment of untreated cigarettes, and finally those of the evacuation device. The rotating ring 135 rotates on the supporting plate 138 by means of a number of rollers, of which three have been shown. This rotating ring is rigidly fixed to a toothed crown wheel 135p, driven by a pinion 1350 on its shaft 145n and by the pinion 1450 with interrupted teeth, on its shaft l45b.

The crown wheel 135p thus marks stopping times at equal intervals during its rotation. The blocking lever 145: is subjected to the action of a cam 145w located at the outer extremity of the shaft 145b, compresses a spring 145v and liberates the crown wheel 135p, thus permitting the rotating ring 135 to travel over a distance equal to that separating two grooves 135a from each other. When the lever l45q is no longer subjected to the action of the cam 145w, it pivots under the pressure of its spring 145v and again locks the crown wheel 135p, while adjusting its new position with respect to its previous position.

According to FIGS. 14 and 19, and referring more particularly to FIG. 19 which shows in detail the control of the piercing and ejection devices for the treated cigarettes, it is seen that these devices, of which one has been shown, are distributed around the rotating ring 135, each of them facing a tube reservoir 139g and a hood reservoir 139k.

These reservoirs are carried and retained by bases 139i screwed in turn on to the fixed circular supporting plate 138 (FIG. 14). This plate ensures certain functions: it serves as a mounting base for a number of elements constituting the machine according to the invention. In addition, its grooves 148v and its circular passage 148w permit the evacuation of the treated cigarettes 104j.

A slide 197b serves as a support for the piercing punch 1970, for the rod 197a, and for the bearing 197f of the push-rod 197d which comprises a spring 197g. The slide 197!) reciprocates in the support 197 and the piercing punch 197c carries out rotating and to-and-fro movements, since it is driven by the movements of this slide 1971:, in a manner decribed below. This latter moves forward towards the cigarette 104b located in the groove 135a of the ring 135, in which cigarette there is to be introduced a tube l39e and a hood 139f.

In fact, the punch 1970 passes in its movement into a tube 139e and penetrates with its pyramidal point l97e into the hood 139f. This punch thus provided with a tube and a hood, pierces the cigarette 104b along its axis and introduces into it the tube 139e associated with the hood 139]". The non-return stop l99j prevents the punch 1970 from eventually bringing back in its return movement the tube and the hood which it has just introduced and deposited in the cigarette.

FIG. 18 shows an enlarged view of the punch 197c comprising a pyramidal point l97e driving a hood l39f associated with a tube 139e. It is seen that the hood similarly possesses a pyramidal housing in which the extremity of the above punch fits closely, which compels the hood to rotate with the punch when it is carried in the forward movement of this latter.

According to FIG. 14, a conventional electric motor (not illustrated) with a conventional speed reduction gear (not illustrated) drives the shaft 145b which, in addition to the pinion 145e, comprises a bevel pinion 145d together with a cam 145x rotating in the opening l45f of the piston 145g. This latter is housed in the cylinder l45h in which this piston carries out reciprocating vertical movements. The piston 145g comprises on its upper'circular surface, fixing bases arranged along the radii of this circular surface, for crank-arms 1451'. By pivoting on their shafts, these crank-arms act on the rods 145] through the intermediary of crank-rods coupled to elbowed levers, the shaft of which is held by supports. The rod 145j is encircled by a spring 145k and is arranged to slide in its bearing 1451. The vertical reciprocating movements of the piston 145g are thus transmitted to the lever 145m which actuates the slide l97b so as to give it to-and-fro movements.

Again referring to FIG. 19 with reference to FIG. 14, the piercing punch 197c passes through the tube 139e, and penetrates into and drives the hood l39f as it moves towards the cigarette 104b. The slide 19712 which drives the piercing punch brings the rod 197a towards the treated cigarette 104j so as to eject it from the groove 135a of the rotating ring 135.

At the same time, the rod 197d moves forward and acts on an abutment 199m which operates a lever l99n. This latter presses on the cigarette 104b, holding it in the groove 135a in order to prevent it from turning or sliding. A slot lr cut in the rotating ring permits the lever l99n to penetrate partly into the rotating ring 135 and thus also to block cigarettes of relatively small diameter.

It should be noted that the piercing punch 197C mvoes forward while rotating its pyramidal point 197e, driving the hood 139f which it compels to rotate with it and thus to pierce the cigarette 104b, at the same time introducing into the cigarette this hood and the tube 139e which is associated therewith.

The difference in travel of the piercing punch 197a and the ejection rod 197a with respect to the rod 197d acting on the abutment 199m, is compensated by this latter which slides in its bearing l97f, at the same time compressing its spring 197g. On the return of the slide 19711 which thus moves away from the ring 135, the rod 197d is brought back to its initial position by the expansion of its spring 197g. The ejection rod 197a passes out of the groove 135a and finally the punch l97c passes out of the cigarette l04j, passing into the nonreturn abutment 199j which prevents the punch 1970 from carrying with it, as it moves back, the tube l39e associated with the hood l39f.

In order to be able to regulate the length of the ejection rod 197a which may be constituted by a hollow cylinder housing a rod 197i retained in the hollow cylinder by a clamping screw, the total length of the said ejection rod 197a may thus be regulated. In addition, a hollow cylinder 197h is fixed on the piercing punch 1970 by a clamping screw which also enables its position on this piercing punch to be adjusted. By means of the shoulder represented by its thickness, this hollow cylinder drives the tube 139e while holding it closely associated with the hood l39f.

Referring now to FIG. 14, the treated cigarettes 104j, ejected by the rod 197a from the grooves 135a, slide in the grooves 148v of the supporting plate 138 and fall into the circular evacuation passage 148w. A number of blades 148x rotate in the passage 148w in a continuous movement in order to direct the treated cigarettes towards the evacuation ramp l40f. Through this opening, the cigarettes fall into collectors (not shown) such as collectors 100, which are arranged under the machine.

The blades 148x are rigidly fixed on the toothed crown wheel 1400 which is actuated by the pinion 140d fixed by its shaft to the bevel pinion l45e which is in turn engaged with the bevel pinion 145d which drives it. This driving device causes the blades 148x to rotate with a continuous movement.

Rings (not shown) are provided and housed in the central evacuation passage 148w and more precisely against the large circumference of this passage, the outline of which they follow. They are provided with grooves identical with the grooves 148v which precede them and which are cut in the supporting ring 138, these grooves being in turn associated with those of the rotating ring 135. The said rings of variable thickness are intended to permit the treatment of cigarettes of different lengths.

They in fact compensate for variations in the distance represented by a number of cigarettes arranged end to end in the associated grooves 135a and 148v of the rings 135 and 138, so that the treated cigarettes fall without tilting during their ejection, into the central evacuation passage 148w. Simple adjustments may be utilized for the piercing devices and especially the ejection device 197a.

FIGS. and 16, similar to portions of FIG. 14, represent alternative forms of the evacuation device with blades shown in FIG. 14. It can be seen from FIG. 15 that a flexible band 150k of adequate thickness rotates in the evacuation passage 148w (FIG. 14). Vertical rollers guide the band l50h so as to deflect the cigarettes carried away by this band, in order that they may be evacuated by the evacuation ramp 1503 which causes them to slide towards the centre of the machine and underneath this latter along a more or less steep slope. This flexible band l50h thus effects a lateral displacement on its circular travel, but this lateral displacement should be a minimum.

In the second alternative form shown in FIG. 16, it can be seen that the band l60j carries out in its circular travel a displacement in depth determined by horizontal rollers. The cigarettes are evacuated on the evacuation ramp 1601' having a more or less steep slope. This latter ramp evacuates the cigarettes and carries them away from the centre of the machine.

Referring now to FIG. 20 showing details of the operation of the abutment 199m (FIG. 19), it is seen that the cigarette 104b is held during its piercing, by the locking lug (lug 19911) which is lined with an anti-slip material 2090. This locking lug is rigidly fixed to the lever 2091 and to the abutment 199m. An abutment extension 209q is carried by to the lug l99n in order to complete the operation of blocking the cigarette 104k. This abutment extension 209q is fixed by screws 209r and 209s on the lug 199n, these screws enabling the distance between this lug 199n and the said abutment 209q to be adjusted and varied.

The variation of this distance makes it possible to treat cigarettes of different lengths. The lever 2091 is fixed by its shaft 209: on the support 199k which is in turn fixed on the base 139i. Referring to FIG. 19, it can be seen that this base 139i also serves as a support for the tube reservoir 139g and the hood reservoir 139]". The lever 2091 is brought back into its free position by its spring 209p.

Referring now to FIG. 21, in order to cause rotation of the piercing punch 1970, this latter is housed in the slide l97b which serves as its support and in which it can rotate on its shaft while being maintained in position in its housing by a stud 217k fixed to the slide 197b. This stud 217k slides in into the circular groove 2l7j of the piercing punch 1970. This latter is further provided with a helicoidal groove 2171 in which slides a stud 217m fixed to the support 197 of the slide l97b. When the slide moves in its support, the stud 217m causes rotation of the piercing punch. This rotation is reversible, depending of whether the slide, (with the punch) is moving forward or returning.

Referring now to FIG. 22 which shows an alternative fonn of FIG. 21, a stud 227r is rigidly fixed to the piercing punch 2270. This latter is housed in the slide 227b which serves as its rear support and in which it can rotate on its axis by the same means as those employed for the piercing punch 1970.

The front support 227q of the piercing punch 2270 is fixed by screws 2270 and 227p to the support 227 of the slide 227b. A helicoidal groove 227n is cut in the housing of this support.

When the slide 227b is displaced, driving the piercing punch 2270, the stud 227r fixed to this latter is moved in the helicoidal groove 227n which guides it in such manner as to cause rotation of the piercing punch 2270. This rotation is reversible, depending on whether the slide (with the punch) is advancing or retracting.

According to FIG. 28 which is a partial view from above of FIG. 29, each support 287s fixed on the supporting plate 138 of the machine (FIG. 14), comprises three slides 288a, 288b and 287t actuated by the levers m shown in FIG. 14. It can be seen that the ejection rod 287a is rigidly fixed on the slide 288a and that the slide 2872 comprises on the one hand the piercing punch 2870 and on the other hand the locking rod 287d with its spring 2873.

The slide 288b comprises a hollow rod 2880 which acts as a cutting punch. This alternative form is intended to produce disks 6 (FIG. 20) serving as an airtight bottom wall. Conduits may be associated with these disks and in this case the same reservoirs 1393 as those of FIG. 19 would be used. The cutting punch 2880 may introduce its disk 6 into the cigarette through a tube l39e which has been put in position by the prepiercing punch 2870.

Referring now to FIG. 29, the support 287f of the locking rod 287d with its spring 287g can pivot about a shaft fixed on the slide 287:, as already shown in FIG. 19.

This pivotal movement is limited by a stud fixed to the slide 287t and passing through a slot cut-out in the support 287f. The slide 288b comprises the cutting-out punch 288C. An abutment 298d rigidly fixed on the slide 288b acts on the abutment 298e fixed on the rod 298t which slides in its supports 298f and 298g. When retracting, the slide 288b carries with it the rod 298! and compresses the spring 298h housed on the said rod between the abutment 298e and the support 298f. When the said slide moves forward, the spring 298h expands and pushes back to the rod 298:.

This reciprocating movement is transmitted to the crank-arm 298s associated with the rod 298i. The said crank-arm acts on the lever 2980 which carries out vertical to-and-fro movements through the intermediary of an elbowed lever fixed on its support.

The cutting-out punch 288a penetrates into a casing 298y of a band driving device which comprises the lever 2980. This device is fixed on a base 299i which holds the mounting base 299k of a double locking lever 299n.

This latter lever blocks two cigarettes simultaneously in grooves 135a of a ring 135. The casing 298y is traversed vertically by a strip or band from which the disks are cut out by the cutter punch 2880. This band of more or less flexible material may be taken from a reel located at the top of the casing 298y and can be rewound after perforation on a second reel located under the said casing.

The to-and-fro movement of the slide 288b may ensure the winding on a reel of the perforated band passing out of the casing 298y, acting by a toothed rack and ratchet wheel on this reel. These reels have not been shown. The plate 298m is housed in a mobile manner in the casing 298y and belongs to the device for driving the band 298] through the intermediary of the lever 2980.

According to FIG. 30, which shows the detail of the device contained in the casing 298y, the band 2981 can move down between the plates 298m and 308n which are housed in the said casing, and in which they are movable. The casing constituted by two shells assembled together serves as a mounting base for the lever 2980 which carries the rollers 308p and 308q. This lever is held in its upper position by the pressure of the spring 308r.

The frusto-conical matrix 3082 is interchangeable. By actuating the lever 2980, the latter compresses the spring 308r and causes a clamping effect by its rollers 308p and 30811, which enables the plates 298m and 308n to press the band 298].

By pulling still further on the lever 2980, this latter further compresses the spring 308r and drives the two rollers 308p and 308q downwards, together with the band 298! down to the bottom of its vertical travel, which corresponds to the distance required for the cutter punch to be able to cut-out disks from the virgin band 2981. The cutter punch passing through the band 298! prevents the spring which, in expanding brings back the lever 2980 and the plates 298m and $08!: into their upper position, from bringing back the band 2981 at the same time into its previous position, that is to say towards the top.

According to FIG. 31, it can be seen that the punch 288e, screwed into the slide 288b, is hollow and comprises an ejection rod 318i with its spring 3l8j and a lever 318k which actuates the rod 318i.

As it moves forward, the cutting punch 288a passes through the plate 298m and then the band 298], from which it cuts out a disk 6 (FIG. 2b) which it introduces into the cigarette and deposits it there. This latter operation is effected by the ejection rod 3181' when the lever 318k abuts against the nut 318a which compels it to pivot on its shaft fixed to the slide 288b, thus giving a forward sliding movement to the ejection rod 3181' in the cutting punch 288C. The said ejection rod thus expels the disk 6 from the cutting punch 288C.

The production capacity of the machine according to the invention depends on the diameter of the rotating ring, which determines the number of grooves and also the number of devices concerned with the treatment of untreated cigarettes. By way of example, a rotating ring having a diameter of approximately 1.5 metres can carry out the treatment according to the invention of 3,600 untreated cigarettes per minute.

The distance between the reservoir ring at the top of the machine and the supporting plate may remain constant irrespective of the diameter of the rotating ring 135, and may for example have a'value of about 0.40 metre.

What I claim is:

1. Apparatus for producing blind conduits in cigarettes, comprising a substantially horizontally disposed ring having a plurality of radial grooves in its upper surface for the reception of cigarettes, a plurality of successive conduit-punching devices on the outer periphery of said ring for punching blind conduits in the tobacco of cigarettes carried in said grooves, means on the outer periphery of the ring for introducing airtight disks into the bottoms of said blind conduits, evacuation means for removing cigarettes disposed on the inside of said ring, ejector means for moving cigarettes from said grooves to said evacuation means, means for rotating said ring so as to bring the groove initially facing said punching and introducing means in front of said ejector means, a plurality of hoppers disposed above said ring to supply cigarettes to said grooves, means defining an annular passage above said hoppers, a mobile distributor movable above said annular passage to supply cigarettes to said passage, loading apparatus for said mobile distributor comprising a member pivotable between lower and inverted upper horizontal positions, a conveyor belt for cigarettes terminating substantially in said horizontal position, and receptacle means adapted to receive cigarettes from said loading apparatus and disposed above said mobile distributor, said receptacle means having lower closure shutters for releasably retaining cigarettes therein.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said hoppers having articulated flaps adapted to dispense one cigarette into each groove, said flaps being mounted on shafts which are coupled with each other by levers and to a main lever, and a vertical rod actuating said main lever and a cam carried by said ring and adapted to engage the lower end of said rod for actuating the same.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, and a plurality of devices disposed radially outwardly of said ring for introducing tubes into said blind conduits.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, and slides on which said punching devices and disk-introducing means are mounted and means for reciprocating said disk-introducing means radially of said ring.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, and means mounting said slides for rotation about axes constituted by their paths of radial reciprocation.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4347855 *Sep 18, 1981Sep 7, 1982Philip Morris IncorporatedMethod of making smoking articles
US4391285 *May 9, 1980Jul 5, 1983Philip Morris, IncorporatedSmoking article
US5052413 *Oct 2, 1987Oct 1, 1991R. J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyMethod for making a smoking article and components for use therein
US5088507 *Jul 17, 1987Feb 18, 1992R. J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyApparatus for assembling components of a smoking article
US7537013 *Jun 1, 2005May 26, 2009R.J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyApparatus for manufacturing cigarettes
EP0299260A2 *Jun 27, 1988Jan 18, 1989R.J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyApparatus for assembling elements of a smoking article
EP0299272A2 *Jun 28, 1988Jan 18, 1989R.J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyApparatus for assembling components of a smoking article
Classifications
U.S. Classification131/253, 131/83.1, 131/340, 131/254, 131/93, 131/94
International ClassificationA24C5/60, A24C5/00, A24C5/18
Cooperative ClassificationA24C5/60, A24C5/1885
European ClassificationA24C5/18S, A24C5/60