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Publication numberUS3854486 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1974
Filing dateOct 27, 1972
Priority dateOct 29, 1971
Also published asDE2253096A1, DE2253096B2, DE2253096C3
Publication numberUS 3854486 A, US 3854486A, US-A-3854486, US3854486 A, US3854486A
InventorsMaurice F, Molins D
Original AssigneeMolins Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cigarette making machines
US 3854486 A
Abstract
Filter-tipped cigarettes are made by enclosing in a continuous wrapper web a filler consisting of alternate tobacco sections and filter sections. The filler is formed by showering tobacco onto a band carrying spaced studs corresponding in length and pitch to the filter sections of the final filler. The tobacco arriving at the studs is blown off transversely, leaving spaced tobacco sections on the band, and these tobacco sections are then transferred by a transfer wheel onto the continuous wrapper web which has previously been supplied with spaced filter sections to interfit between the tobacco sections.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Molins et a1.

[11] 3,854,486 Dec. 17, 1974 1 CIGARETTE MAKING MACHINES [75] Inventors: Desmond Walter Molins, London,

' England; Francis Auguste Maurice, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France [30] Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 29, 1971 Great Britain 50492/71 [52] U.S. C1. 131/61 A, 131/84 C, 137/624.13 [51] Int. Cl. A24c 05/52 [58] Field of Search 131/94, 61 A, 61 R, 61 B, 131/84 C, 84 B, 21 D; 137/624.13

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,067,774 12/1962 McCausland et a1. 251/182 X 3,364,934 l/l968 Molins 131/61 A 3,610,112 10/1971 Labbe 131/61 A UX 3,750,678 8/1973 Labbe 131/84C FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 536,525 10/1931 Germany 131/94 .35 {la a FIM 452,700 8/1936 Great Britain 131/94 446,863 5/1936 Great Britain 131/94 957,317 5/1964 Great Britain 131/84 C Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-John F. Pitrelli Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Markva & Smith [5 7 ABSTRACT Filter-tipped cigarettes are made by enclosing in a continuous wrapper web a filler consisting of alternate tobacco sections and filter sections. The filler is formed by showering tobacco onto a band carrying spaced studs corresponding in length and pitch to the filter sections of the final filler. The tobacco arriving at the studs is blown off transversely, leaving spaced tobacco sections on the band, and these tobacco sections are then transferred by a transfer wheel onto the continuous wrapper web which has previously been supplied with spaced filter sections to interfit between the tobacco sections.

34 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEU @121 71974 SHEET 2 OF 6' PATENTEL SHEET sm 6 CIGARETTE MAKING MACHINES This invention is concerned with machines for making filter-tipped cigarettes. More particularly this invention is concerned with making such cigarettes by forming a continuous rod consisting of a continuous wrapper containing tobacco sections alternating with filter sections. This contrasts with more common machines in which tobacco-filled sections formed by cutting a continuous cigarette rod are joined to separately formed filters.

A machine according to one aspect of this invention includes an air-pervious conveyor carrying studs at regular intervals; means for filling the spaces between successive studs with tobacco; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by means of a differential air pressure; a second conveyor which receives the tobacco sections and carries them by means of suction towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the spaces between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rod-forming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

The tobacco sections and filter sections are preferably both twice as long as the sections in the final filtertipped cigarettes. In this case, the continuous rod may be cut through the middles of the tobacco sections and filter sections to form filtentipped cigarettes facing successively in opposite directions; as a preferred alternative, however, the continuous rod is out only through the centres of the filter sections (or possibly only through the centres of the tobacco sections) to form double-length filter-tipped cigarettes which are subsequently cut through the middle while moving sideways.

Before being wrapped round the tobacco and filter sections, the outer surface of the wrapper web may be printed along areas coinciding with the filters to give the common cork" appearance.

In a preferred machine according to this invention the spaces between successive studs are filled by showering tobacco towards the first conveyor. Subsequently, or during showering, any tobacco which lands on the studs is cleared away. For example, the first conveyor carrying the studs may be in the form of a band which, after receiving the tobacco shower, passes round a pulley so that centrifugal force throws off any tobacco remaining on the studs, while suction applied through the band holds on the band the tobacco sections lying between the studs. There may be a space along the outside of the band through which an air flow is directed to carry, separately from the band, the tobacco which is thrown off the studs; the machine may for example in this respect be as described in US. Pat. Application Ser. No. 190,549 dated Oct. 19, 1971.

We have found that if the tobacco is showered upwards by means of air towards the first conveyor, for example in a machine basically like the Molins Mark 8 cigarette making machine, the air llow close to the band tends to sweep forwards or backwards most of the tobacco which arrives at the studs; the tobacco which is swept forwards or backwards in this way piles up on the tobacco sections between the studs. Accordingly the studs may be relatively clean by the time showering is completed. Any tobacco remaining on the studs may be thrown off by centrifugal force or may be blown off after the showering zone.

In another possible machine according to this invention, the channel through which tobacco is showered on to the band is basically as in the Molins Mark 8 (i.e., as described basically for example in British specification No. 916,141), but there is the following provision for blowing tobacco off the studs immediately it arrives at the studs during showering. Near the end of the channel adjacent to the band'there is an air inlet port or a series of ports through which air can be directed laterally across the channel to blow tobacco off the studs, the air being admitted to the port or ports by means of a rotating valve preferably comprising a tube formed with a helical slot which extends obliquely across the port or ports; as a result of the rotation of the tube, the section of the helical slot extending across the port or ports moves longitudinally in the direction of the band in timed relation with the studs. Thus a jet of air issuing from the port or ports sweeps the tobacco off each stud, preferably all the way along the shower zone. On the side of the channel opposite to the air inlet port or ports there is an outlet port through which the tobacco swept from the studs is carried by the air. From this outlet port the tobacco may pass into a receptacle from which it is conveyed in any convenient manner back to the hopper of the machine. Preferably, however, the outlet-port communicates with a passage which forms a loop extending back into the shower channel, so that the tobacco removed from thestuds is continuously showered back through the channel.

An alternative machine according to this invention may be basically as described in British Pat. No. 1,083,249. In such a machine the band 24 on to which tobacco is showered may carry studs, and the tobacco sections between the studs may be trimmed before being transferred to the wheel 8; the filter sections may be fed on to the top band 10, which, for this purpose, may be extended rearwards so that the filter sections can be fed on to the undersurface of the band before the band reaches the wheel 8 and receives the tobacco sections.

Examples of machines according to this invention are shown in the accompanying drawings. In these drawmgs:

FIG. 1 is an overall diagrammatic view of one machine;

FIGS. 2A to 2C are enlarged fragmentary views of the conveyor band in the region of the arrows A to C respectively;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a different form of stud;

FIG. 4 shows the stud of FIG. 3, on a smaller scale, at the point where the tobacco stream is transferred from the band to the wheel;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical cross section of a modified machine;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of part of the machine shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a partly sectioned side view of a modified transfer wheel for the machine shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a section on the line VllI-Vlll in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary longitudinal section through another machine;

FIG. is substantially a plan view of the timing device used in the machine shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a flat developed section through the suction and pressure manifolds of the same machine; and

FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary section on the line XII-XII of FIG. 9.

The. machine shown in FIG. 1 includes a vertical shower channel 2 up which tobacco is showered towards a band 4 which moves in'the direction of the arrow and passes round two pulleys 6 and 8. The tobacco is carried up the channel 2 by air produced mainly by a supercharger fan connected to a louvre port 10, but partly by air drawn through the band as a result of suction in the suction chamber 12 within the band.

The band carries studs 14, as shown in FIGS. 2A to 2C. Between the studs the band is air-pe'rvious so that suction from the suction chamber 12 holds the tobacco on the band. Thus tobacco sections 16 build up between the studs and are heldonto the band by suction. Tobacco is also showered towards the studs and tends to form layers'on the studs, as shown in FIG. 2A, which shows the band towards the end of the shower zone (i.e., just as it is about to leave the channel 2). However, the tobacco which approaches or actually reaches the studs 14, tends to be dragged forwards or backwards by air, which is diverted past the studs, either forwards or backwards, since the studs are not air pervious; this tobacco tends particularly to be dragged backwards relative to the band because of the inertia of the tobacco. As a result, the band 4 emerges from the shower channel 2 with the fully formed tobacco sections 16 plus extra heaps 16A at the ends adjacent to the studs 14, and a small amount of tobacco 168 which may still be carried forward on the studs 14. While the band 4 is passing round the pulley 6, centrifugal force throws off the tobacco 168 into a space 19 extending along the band. From the space 19 the tobacco is carried forward by air into a pipe 21 which leads into a pipe 28 which carries away discard tobacco removed from the tobacco on the band by a trimmer 24.

The trimmer 24 is basically as described in British Pat. No 881,024. That is to say, the trimmer comprises two cooperating discs which separate from the main 1 body of the tobacco on the band an outer layer which is removed by a brush; and the discs have recesses at circumferentially spaced positions on their peripheries so as to leave an extra amount of tobacco corresponding to the position of each recess, these extra amounts of tobacco being timed to be where the cigarette rod is eventually cut, so as to make the cigarette fillers denser at their ends than elsewhere. The trimmer 24 shown in FIG. 1 is similar and is arranged to trim away part of the tobacco sections between the studs I4, leaving short additional amounts 16C, as shown in FIG. 2C (which shows the band downstream of the trimmer 24). These extra amounts 16C (which are shown somewhat exaggerated) help to ensure that the ends of the tobacco sections adjacent to the filters in the final cigarettes are adequately filled with tobacco. The trimmer may be arranged to leave particularly large excess amounts of tobacco immediately behind each stud 14 to compensate for the drag-back effect of the tobacco in the gamiture, as will be described further on.

FIGS. 2A to 2C show the positions 18 at which the final cigarette rod is eventually cut to form doublelength filter-tipped cigarettes.

The tobacco sections shown in FIG. 2C are transferred from the band 4 to a suction wheel 20 which carries the tobacco sections on to a continuous wrapper web 22. Before the web 22 reaches the horizontal run, a paster (not shown) applies a dab of paste at regular intervals at positions where double-length filters 23 are applied to the web by means of a wheel 25 rotating about a vertical axis. The filter feeding wheel 25 may be basically as descrbed in British patent specification No. 876,732.

The double-length filters delivered on to the web 22 may have a slightly larger diameter than the finished filters and may be compressed in the gamiture of a rodforming device 26 in which the final compression of the tobacco takes place and the tobacco and filter sections are enclosed in the web 22; preferably the crosssectional area of the gamiture is substantially wholly filled by the filters at substantially all positions along the gamiture. This helps to ensure that the trailing ends of the tobacco sections are not stroked back over the leading ends of the filter sections, and may also help to reduce the degree to which the leading ends of the tobacco sections are stroked back in the gamiture.

Instead of the filters beingdelivered on to the wrapper web, they may be delivered on to the suction wheel 20, for example at an insertion station where the wheel is already carrying tobacco sections.

The studs 14 should be high enough (i.e., have a sufficient height away from the band) to confine the ends of the tobacco sections. For example, the height of the studs may be about 13 mm. and the height of the tobacco sections after trimming (except at the ends) may be about 9.5 mm; at the ends of the tobacco sections I the height may be about 12 mm. However, the gap between the band and the transfer wheel 20 may be slightly less, for example 8 mm so as to compress the tobacco slightly while it is being transferred from the band to the wheel. In this case, the wheel may have recesses to provide clearance for the studs 14. Alternatively, the studs may be compressible or flexible so that they can pass through the narrow gap between the band and the wheel. FIG. 3 shows a possible construction of the studs.

The stud 28 shown in FIG. 3 consists of a strip of resilient stainless steel formed into a complete loop consisting of a flat outer section 28A, end sections 288 and 28C which pass through slots in the band 4, and sections 28D and 28B which lie on the far side of the band (i.e.', the side opposite to the tobacco) and meet near the middle, where they are both secured to the band, for example by rivets or by spot welding in the case of a metal band. The end sections 283 and 28C both approximate to a section of a cylinder centred on the ad joining ends of the sections 28D and 285 respectively. Thus when a stud requires to have its height reduced, the end sections 28B and 28C move through the slots in the band, and the sections 28A, 28D and 28B flex as shown in FIG. 4. The space within the metal strip is filled by a block 30 of flexible sponge material, for example an expanded synthetic rubber. As each stud approaches the wheel 20, its height isreduced progressively by a fixed ramp 32 which is of low-friction material, for example that known by the trade mark Tufnel.

Instead of the tobacco on the studs being thrown off by centrifugal force, it may be blown off continuously by means of an arrangement shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. FIG. 5 is a vertical cross section through any part of the channel 2 shown in FIG. 1. It shows that the channel is defined partly by a front wall 34 and by a rear wall 36 which includes a louvre port 38 through which air is drawn by a supercharger fan (not shown). Thus air flows up the channel and carries tobacco towards a band 40 which carries studs 42 at regular intervals. Tobacco sections build up between the studs 42, being confined at their sides by rails 44 and 46 between which the studs 42 run.

The rear rail 44 co-operates with a part 51 to define a series of air inlet ports 48 which extend all the way along the top of the rear wall 36 and are separated by vertical vanes 50 (see FIG. 6) on the part 51. Jets of air from a rotating valve tube 52 are directed through the ports 48 and move at the same speed as the band and in alignment with the studs 42 to blow tobacco laterally off the studs. The vanes 50 are close together and ensure that the air jets pass transversely across the studs 42 and with substantially no component in the direction of movement of the studs. The tobacco blown off the studs passes into an outlet port 54 which extends all the way across the upper end of the channel 2; i.e., parallel to the band 40. The port 54 leads into a passageway 56 which forms a loop extending back into the channel 2. As a result of the diversion of air through the louvre port 38, the suction pressure in the region 2A of the channel 2 is greater than the suction pressure at the upper end of the channel, so that this differential suction helps to draw air through the passageway 56. In addition there may be an air inlet 58, as shown. The length of the passageway 56, and the velocity of the air and tobacco through the passageway 56, are such that the tobacco which is blown off the studs tends to arrive back to the band 4 approximately in the region between the studs. The timing of this may be varied, for example, by adjusting the velocity of the air and tobacco through the passageway 56; for example, there may be a louvre air inlet port between the inlet 58 and the end of the passage 56 adjacent to the channel 2, and the entry of air through this louvre port may be adjustable by means of a valve so that the momentum of the tobacco as it enters the channel 2 from the passage 56 is varied.

The valve tube 52 comprises three part-cylindrical strips 52A which together form a cylinder having helical slots 52B defined by the edges of the strips 52A. Air issues from each slot where the slot extends across the gap between an edge 60 on a stationary casing part 61 and the edge 62A of a shutter 62 which is adjustable about the axis of the tube 52 to vary the gap between the edge 60 and the edge 62A. The edge 60 of the casing part 61 is shown dotted in FIG. 6, because FIG. 6 is a view with the part 61 and the rails removed. As shown in FIG. 6, the length of the air jet passing through the series of ports 48 is L; this corresponds to the length of each stud 42. Rotation of the valve tube 52 results in the air jet moving along the ports 48 at the same speed as, and in alignment with, the studs 42, so that the tobacco reaching the studs 42 is continuously blown off the studs and into the passage 56.

As there are three slots, the speed of rotation of the tube for a machine making, for example, 4,000 cigarettes per minute, is l/6 X 4,000 revolutions per minute. There may alternatively be a different number of slots in the valve tube, in which case the speed of rotation would need to be varied accordingly.

The angle of the slots to the axis of the tube (i.e., angle A in FIG. 6) depends upon the length of the cigarettes. In order to cope with a range of cigarette length of 60 mm to 100 mm, two tubes may be provided, one coping with the range 60 to 75 mm, and the other coping with the range 75 to 100 mm. The angle A for each tube is adjustable by twisting one end of the tube relative to the other. For this purpose the strips 52A may for example to be a plastics material such as Tufnel. The strips may be mounted around a number of thin discs 64 situated at axially spaced positions along the tube, each disc having small lugs 64A which engage between the adjacent edges of the strips. The discs may all be mounted on a central spindle (not shown), and the end discs (but not the intermediate discs) may be lockable on the spindle so that the angle A can be altered by unlocking one of the end discs, rotating it slightly and then locking it to the spindle.

By way of example, a valve tube dealing with a cigarette length 0f 75 mm may have an angle A of 1535. For 60 mm cigarettes, the angle would need to be changed to 1915. Conversely, for longer cigarettes of 85 mm length, the angle A would need to be 1350.

The width of the slots changes slightly when the angle A is altered. For example, in the above example the slot width for 60 mm cigarettes is 2.55 mm, and for 85 mm cigarettes it is 2 mm. Assuming a ratio of filter length to total cigarette length of 0.2 in the case of 60 mm cigarettes, the width of the gap between the edge 60 and the shutter 62A would need to be 8.4 mm; on the other hand for 85 mm cigarettes, assuming a ratio of filter length to total cigarette length of 0.25, the width of the gap would need to be 10.5 mm.

FIG. 7 and 8 show how the transfer wheel 20 in FIG. 1 may be arranged to provide recesses to allow clearance for the studs 14. The arrangement shown is one in which the periphery of the transfer wheel is divided into four segments for carrying four tobacco sections 16.

As shown in FIG. 7, the transfer wheel 20 receives tobacco sections 16 from the band 4 and deposits these sections on to a wrapper web 22 which carries spaced double-length filters 24. Within the wheel 20 there are two diametrically extending piston members and 72 lying at right angles to one another. Each piston member has at its opposite ends head portions 70A, 70B and 72A, 723 which slide between parallel guide surfaces 74 in the wheel.

During use, each head portion in turn moves radially inwards to leave a recess 76 to accommodate a stud. FIG. 7 shows the head portions 70A in the inner position, and also the head portion 72A. The length of each piston member is such that, when one head portion is inwardly displaced, the head portion at the other end of the piston member is at an outer position such that its outer surface forms a continuation of the periphery of the wheel. The required movement of the piston members is achieved by air pressure supplied through a passage 78 to an arcuate space 80 extending along the top of the transfer wheel 20. As a result of the pressure in the space 80,it will be seen that the head portion 72B is at its outer position; there is therefore no recess in the wheel at that position into which the advancing filter 24 might possibly be inadvertently caught. Thus.

each head portion is moved inwards while it is moving along the arcuate space 80, so as to form a recess 76 ready to accommodate one of the studs 14 on the band, and then moves to its outer position as it approaches the wrapper web 22.

The inner and outer positions of the head portions are determined by adjustable stops 82.

The segments of the wheel between the head portions of the .piston members are divided by substantially radially extending vanes 84. At'the inner end of each space between adjacent vanes there is a portion 86 which extends axially to one end face of the wheel. Against that end face of the wheel there is a fixed manifold formed with an arcuate manifold space 88 through which suction is supplied to the spaces between the vanes 84 via the ports 86.

FIG. 8 shows in chain-dotted outline two fixed side rails 20A and 203 which confine the sides of the tobacco sections on the wheel 20.

FIGS. 9 to 12 show a different machine in which the studs are held onto the band by suction. The general arrangement of the machine is similar to that shown in FIG. 1 in that tobacco is carried up a shower channel 90 to form a tobacco stream on a band 92 carrying spaced studs 94. However, the studs 94 are not fixed to the band but are held on the band by suction. Tobacco sections 95 are formed between the studs in the manner shown in FIG. 1 or FIGS. and 6, and these tobacco sections are carried onto a continuous wrapper web 96 by a transfer wheel 98. As in FIG. 1, the wrapper web 96 carries spaced double-length filters 100 which are inserted between the tobacco sections. FIG. 9 also shows diagrammatically part of a garniture tongue 101 which compresses the tobacco and filter sections down to the cross-section of the finished cigarette.

Air passes through the transfer wheel 98 and through the adjacent pulley 102 in the directions shown by the sets of parallel arrows.

Within the pulley 102 and immediately downstream of the point (shown as stage B) at which the tobacco sections are transferred to the wheel 98, there is a pipe 104 which is supplied with permanent light pressure to assist in transferring the tobacco sections on to the wheel 98. However, within the pipe 104 there is'a smaller pipe 106 through which strong timed suction pulses are supplied to hold the studs 94 on the band 92; this is assisted by air blowing out from the wheel in the region of the studs. Thus the studs continue with the band 92. Air blows upwards out of a small bridging member 108 to urge the studs against the band 92 until the studs reach an air-pervious transfer band 110. Suction is supplied through a port 112 to a suction chamher 114 below the upper run of the transfer band 110 so as to suck the studs onto the band 110. The speed of the band 110 is finely adjustable, but the band 110 may normally run at a slightly higher speed than the band 92. At the end of the band 110 there is a timing device 116 (shown approximately in plan view in FIG. by which the studs are placed back on the band 92 at timed regular intervals with the aid of air blowing upwards out of a chamber 118 adjacent to the timing device.

By means of the timing device 116 and the variable speed band 110, the distance between successive studs 94 on the band 92 downstream of the timing device can be adjusted. It will be appreciated that adjustment in this way may be accompanied by a change in the length of the studs 94 if required. Thus, the length of the double-length cigarettes need not be a precise sub-multiple of the length of the band 92. For example, if the tobacco section length or the filter length is required to be reduced slightly, this can be achieved by suitably adjusting the timing device 116 (i.e., reducing the pitch of the studs) and by slightly increasing the speed of the band 110, while keeping the same number of studs 94; thus the band 1 l0 accelerates the studs so the studs can catch up with their required positions on the band 92. However, if the reduction in tobacco section length or filter length is sufficiently great, it may be possible to add another stud 94, in which case the correct timing of the studs may be achieved by reducing the speed of the band 110. In general the band may run either faster or slower than the band 92 in order to provide the required timing of the studs 94.

As shown in FIG. 10, the timing device 116 consists of a wheel mounted on a drive shaft 116A which is normal to the band 92, and is formed with an arresting finger 1168 which allows each stud to move forward with the band 92 only at the required moment. The speed of rotation of the wheel is adjustable to adjust the spacing between successive studs downstream of the timing device.

At the transfer stage B between the pulley 102 and the wheel 98, there is a clearance which is less than the thickness of the studs 94. This is in order to compress the tobacco sections during the transfer. In order to allow for compressibility and lightness the studs 94 may be made of a soft compressible plastics material, for example with a coating of wear-resistant plastic.

In order to provide the selective blowing and sucking through the periphery of the transfer wheel 98, the inside space of the wheel in the region of the wheel periphery is divided by regularly spaced radial vanes 98A as shown diagrammatically especially in FIG. 11, which is a flat developed section of part of the periphery of the wheel 98. FIG. 11 furthermore shows diagrammatically how pressure and suction is applied where necessary at various stages, for example stages A, B, C and D as identified in FIG. 9.

Adjacent to the front face of the wheel there is a manifold 118 which is supplied continuously with medium-pressure air through a pipe 120. Thus air flows from the interior space 118A of the manifold into sections 124 of the wheel periphery corresponding in length to the studs 94 on the band 92. The wheel moves relative to the manifold in the direction of the arrow 122.

Adjacent to the back face of the transfer wheel there is a composite manifold 126 formed with a space 126A which is connectedto suction by a pipe 128, and a space 1263 which is connected to low-pressure air by a pipe 132. It will be understood that the manifold spaces 126A and 1268 communicate with sections of the wheel which carry the tobacco sections. The blowing of air out of the wheel from stage A to stage B via the manifold space 126B is in order to facilitate the smooth transfer of tobacco sections from the band 92 to the wheel.

As shown in FIG. 12, the tobacco sections are confined at their sides by fixed rails 134 and 136 which extend around the wheel. FIG. 12 also shows how suction or pressure from the manifolds is communicated to the air-pervious rim 98B of the wheel via openings 98C in one or other face of the wheel and between the vanes 98A.

The spaces between adjacent tobacco sections are slightly longer than the double-filter sections 100 to allow clearance for the insertion of the filters. The length of the double-filters may be varied slightly if required. By that means, slight variations in the ratio of cigarette length to filter length can be accommodated with a given transfer wheel. However, more farreaching changes require the use of a different transfer wheel, and the machine is preferably so arranged that the transfer wheel can readily be replaced.

In order to avoid the ends of the tobacco sections spreading over the ends of the double filters in the garniture, the filters fed onto the wrapper web are preferably larger in diameter and lower in density than they are in the finished cigarette, so that the filters completely fill the space within the garniture and thus seal the tobacco against endwise movement over the filters. As an alternative, or in addition, in the case of filters formed of filter material (e.g., cellulose acetate) enclosed in a cylindrical wrapping, at least one end of the wrapping of each double filter may be formed with a number of circumferentially spaced slits extending inwards from the end to allow the filter material to expand and thus fill the garniture. As shown in FIG. 1 the filter feeding means, indicated generally at 27, may include means 29 for forming the slits in the ends of the filter sections.

As an alternative to the arrangement shown in FIG. 9, the studs 94 may be transferred onto the transfer wheel 98 together with the tobacco sections, and may then be removed from the transfer wheel after, for example, about a quarter of a revolution of the transfer wheel, and may be returned from that point back to the band 92 by a further suction wheel.

We claim:

1. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious first conveyor; a plurality of studs secured to said conveyor at regular intervals forming between them recesses for receiving tobacco, each stud having a pair of end walls facing in opposite directions and the confronting end walls of adjacent studs being arranged to contain and confine substantially the entire end surfaces of the tobacco sections formed between them in said recesses; means for filling the spaces between successive studs with tobacco; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by a differential air pressure; a second conveyor including suction means for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation with recesses therebetween and carrying them towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the recesses between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rodforming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

2. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 1 wherein said means for filling the spaces between successive studs comprises means for showering tobacco on the conveyor to fill the spaces between successive studs on the conveyor.

3. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 2 including means for removing tobacco from the studs after the showering has been completed.

4. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 3 further comprising means for moving the conveyor along a curved path to remove the tobacco from the studs by centrifugal action while the conveyor is moving along said curved path.

5. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 1 wherein the end walls of said studs are imperforate.

6. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 1 in which the studsare fixed to the first conveyor.

7. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 6 in which the studs are arranged so that their height above the conveyor may be reduced by pressure from above the studs.

8. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 7 wherein each stud comprises a resilient metal strip bent around a body of resiliently compressible material.

9. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 6 in which the second conveyor is formed with recesses to allow clearance for the studs.

10. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 9 in which the recesses in the second conveyor contain radially slidable members which move outwards so as to fill the recesses in the region of the continuous wrapper web.

11. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 1 in which the studs are formed separately from the first conveyor and are secured to the first conveyor by suction.

12. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 11 including a variable-speed transfer conveyor for receiving the studs from the first conveyor at a point downstream of the point at which the tobacco sections are transferred to the second conveyor, and for carrying the studs to a point further downstream along the first conveyor and means including an adjustable timing device for placing the studs back on the first conveyor at regular intervals.

13. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious first conveyor; a plurality of studs carried by said conveyor and arranged thereon at regular intervals, the studs forming between them recesses for receiving tobacco; means for showering tobacco on the conveyor to fill the spaces between successive studs; a rotary valve adjacent to said conveyor in the region of the shower and arranged to direct a jet of air across the surface of each stud to blow off the tobacco; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by a different air pressure; a second conveyor including suction means for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation with recesses therebetween and carrying them towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the recesses between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rod-forming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

14. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 13 in which the rotary valve extends along the conveyor across substantially the whole width of the shower and is arranged to direct jets of air continuously across all the studs in the region of the shower to remove the tobacco as soon as it reaches the studs.

15. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 13 further comprising means including fixed edges defining an opening extending along and parallel to the conveyor, the rotary valve comprising a tube having its axis parallel. to the direction of the conveyor and formed with helical slots through which jets of air pass from the interior of the tube between said fixed edges.

16. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 15 in which the tube comprises strips carried by at least two discs situated at the ends of the tube, which discs are adjustable slightly relative to one another about the axis of the tube to vary the helix angle of the slots between the strips.

17. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious conveyor arranged for movement along a predetermined path; substantially parallel fixed rails mounted along opposite sides of the conveyor and defining between them and with the conveyor a trough of predetermined depth; a plurality of pairs of raised end walls spaced along and secured to said conveyor and extending transversely of said path, said end walls defining a plurality of regularly spaced regions separated by intermediate areas on said conveyor and having a width in said transverse direction slightly less than the distance between the rails so as to pass between the rails with a running clearance and extending from the conveyor by a distance substantially equal to said predetermined depth; means for showering tobacco onto tthe conveyor; means for removing tobacco from said intermediate areas of said conveyor between said regions leaving spaces between the tobacco sections in said regions, means for compressing the tobacco sections in said regions by a differential air pressure; means for feeding filter sections into said spaces between said tobacco sections; and a rod-forming device for enclosing said tobacco sections in alternation with said filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

18. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 17 in which the means for removing tobacco from the intermediate areas of the conveyor includes means for directing a jet of air in a direction transverse to said conveyor path across said intermediate areas to blow off the tobacco.

19. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 17 wherein said end walls are imperforate.

20. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 17 further comprising a second conveyor for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation from the first conveyor, said filter section feeding means being arranged to feed said filter sections into the spaces between said tobacco sections.

21. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious conveyor arranged for movement along a predetermined path; means defining a plurality of regularly spaced regions separated by intermediate areas on said conveyor, said means including raised end walls for said regions; means for showering tobacco onto the conveyor; means for directing a jet of air in a direction transverse to said conveyor path across said intermediate areas to remove tobacco from said intermediate areas of said conveyor between said regions, said air jet means in cluding movable means at least partly defining an outlet for the air jet and arranged to move synchronously with movement of the conveyor such that the air outlet moves along the conveyor at the same speed as the conveyor and in alignment with one of the intermediate areas; means for compressing the tobacco sections in said regions by a differential air pressure; means for feeding filter sections into the spaces between said tobacco sections; and a rod-forming device for enclosing said tobacco sections in alternation with said filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections, said end walls having substantially the same transverse width as the width of said conveyor adapted to support said tobacco sections and extending from said conveyor to a substantially uniform predetermined height.

22. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 21 in which the said movable means comprises a rotary valve adjacent to the conveyor in the region of the shower, said valve extending along the conveyor across substantially the whole width of the shower and being arranged to direct jets of air continuously across said intermediate areas of said conveyor whereby tobacco is removed from said areas in the region of said shower.

23. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious conveyor arranged for movement along a predetermined path; fixed rails mounted along opposite sides of the conveyor and defining between them and with the conveyor a trough of predetermined depth; a plurality of elongated studs arranged to be carried through the trough by the conveyor at regular intervals, thus forming recesses between successive studs, each stud having side walls spaced apart by a distance slightly less than the distance between the rails so as to pass between the rails with a running clearance, end walls defining the ends of adjacent recesses, and an outer wall having a surface which is substantially parallel to the conveyor, said surface being spaced from the conveyor by a distance substantially equal to said predetermined depth; means for showering tobacco towards the conveyor and into the recesses between the studs and also over said outer wall surface of the studs; pneumatic means for directing a first air stream in a direction transverse to said conveyor path across said surfaces of the outer walls of said studs to blow away laterally the tobacco which is showered onto said surfaces of the outer walls of the studs to leave spaced tobacco sections on the conveyor lying between the studs; means for directing a second air stream in a direction transverse to both said conveyor path and first air stream through said airpervious conveyor to compress air spaced tobacco sections; means for receiving the tobacco sections from the conveyor in spaced relation with recesses therebetween; means for inserting filter sections into the recesses between successive tobacco sections; and means for enclosing the tobacco and filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod.

24. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious first conveyor; a plurality of studs carried by said conveyor and arranged thereon at regular intervals; means for filling the spaces between successive studs by showering tobacco onto the conveyor; a rotary valve adjacent to and extending along the conveyor across substantially the whole width of the shower and being arranged to direct jets of air continuously across all the studs in the region of the shower to remove tobacco as soon as it reaches the studs; a return passage which extends from the side of the shower opposite to the valve and is arranged to return that tobacco back into the shower; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by a differential air pressure; a second conveyor including suction means for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation and carrying them towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the spaces between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rod-forming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

25. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 24 in which the return passage is adapted to return the tobacco with a timing such that tobacco is showered into the spaces between the studs on said first conveyor.

26. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious first conveyor arranged for movement along a predetermined path; a plurality of studs carried by said conveyor and arranged thereon at regular intervals; means for filling the spaces between successive studs by showering tobacco onto the conveyor, said means including a channel for conveying the showered tobacco onto said conveyor; means for directing a jet of air across said studs to discourage accumulation of tobacco thereon including at least one air inlet in communication with said channel at one side thereof adjacent said conveyor and an air outlet arranged on the opposite side of said channel adjacent said conveyor, said outlet extending along substantially the whole width of the channel in the direction of movement of said conveyor; passage means which extends in a loop from said outlet into said channel at a position upstream of said outlet, whereby tobacco directed into said outlet may be returned to the shower in said channel; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by a differential air pressure; a second conveyor including suction means for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation and carrying them towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the spaces between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rod-forming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and filter sections in said continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

27. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 26 in which said passage means is adapted to return the tobacco with a timing such that tobacco is showered into the spaces between the studs on said first conveyor.

28. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 26 in which the means for directing a jet of air across the studs includes movable means at least partly defining an outlet for the air jet and arranged to move synchronously with movement of the conveyor, such that said outlet for the air jet moves adjacent the conveyor at the same speed as the conveyor and in alignment with one of the spaces between the studs.

29. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious conveyor arranged for movement along a predetermined path; means defining a plurality of regularly spaced regions with intermediate areas between adjacent regions on said conveyor, said means including raised end walls for said regions; means defining a channel extending towards the conveyor; means for showering tobacco through the channel and onto the conveyor; means for directing a jet of air transversely through the channel and including movable means at least partly defining an outlet for the air jet and arranged to move synchronously with movement of the conveyor, such that the air outlet moves along the conveyor, at the same speed as the conveyor and in alignment with one of the intermediate areas, said outlet having a dimension along the conveyor substantially the-same as that of the intermediate area, whereby the jet of air keeps the intermediate areas clear of tobacco but permits the formation of tobacco sections in said regions; and a rod-forming device for enclosing said tobacco sections in alternation with filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections.

30. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 29 further comprising means including fixed edges defining an opening extending along and parallel to the conveyor, the movable means comprising a rotary valve tube having its axis parallel to the conveyor and formed with at least one helical slot through which jets of air pass from the interior of the tube between said fixed edges.

31. A cigarette-making machine according to claim 29 including a return passage which extends from the side of the conveyor opposite to the air outlet and is arranged to receive the tobacco blown off the intermediate areas of the conveyor and to return that tobacco back into the channel.

32. A cigarette-making machine for making fi]ter tipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious first conveyor; a plurality of studs carried by said conveyor and arranged thereon at regular intervals, the studs forming between them recesses for receiving tobacco; means for filling the spaces between successive studs with tobacco; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by a differential air pressure; a second conveyor including suction means for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation with recesses therebetween and carrying them towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the recesses between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rod-forming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and filter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections; said rod-forming device including a garniture having means for mechanically compressing the tobacco sections down to their final diameter and said filter feeding means being arranged to feed filter sections of a diameter large enough to completely fill the garniture of the rod-forming device so as to prevent tobacco from moving over the filter sections.

33. A cigarette-making machine for making filtertipped cigarettes, comprising an air-pervious first con-- veyor; a plurality of studs carried by said conveyor and arranged thereon at regular intervals, the studs forming between them recesses for receiving tobacco; means for filling. the spaces between successive studs with tobacco; means for compressing the tobacco sections between the studs by a differential air pressure; a second conveyor including suction means for receiving the tobacco sections in spaced relation with recesses therebetween and carrying them towards a continuous wrapper web; means for feeding filter sections into the recesses between successive tobacco sections after the tobacco sections have left the first conveyor; and a rod-forming device for enclosing the tobacco sections and flter sections in a continuous wrapper web to form a continuous rod filled successively with tobacco sections and filter sections; said rod-forming device including a garniture having means for mechanically compressing the tobacco sections down to their final diameter and said filter feeding means being arranged to slit the ends of the filter sections to allow the ends to expand and thus completely fill the garniture of the rod-forming device so as to prevent tobacco from moving over the filter sections.

34. A method of making filter-tipped cigarettes, comprising showering tobacco towards a first suction conveyor carrying regularly spaced studs between recesses for the receipt of tobacco; containing and confining substantially the entire end surface of each tobacco section formed between a pair of said studs to form well defined ends to said tobacco section; feeding the tobacco sections formed between the studs towards a continuous wrapper web by means of a second suction conveyor; feeding filter sections into the spaces between successive tobacco sections after said tobacco sections have left the first tobacco conveyor, and enclosing the tobacco sections and intervening filter sections in a continuous wrapper web.

l k t

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4516585 *Sep 2, 1982May 14, 1985R. J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyMethod and apparatus for producing a multiple-blend cigarette
US4693262 *Mar 5, 1986Sep 15, 1987Hauni-Werke Korber & Co. KgApparatus for forming batches of tobacco and the like
US4693263 *Mar 5, 1986Sep 15, 1987Hauni-Werke Korber & Co. KgMethod and apparatus for making a composite stream from fibrous material of the tobacco processing industry
US4741350 *Nov 6, 1986May 3, 1988G. D. Societa Per AzioniMethod for producing cigarettes containing at least two different tobacco mixtures
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Classifications
U.S. Classification131/61.1, 131/84.3, 131/84.4, 137/624.13
International ClassificationA24C5/00, A24C5/47, A24C5/52
Cooperative ClassificationA24C5/52
European ClassificationA24C5/52