Title:
Rotating printing unit for a machine of the tobacco processing industry
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Process and device for applying print marks to an article that includes conveying the article along a transport direction at a predetermined conveyor speed, during a printing procedure, reducing a relative speed between a printing element and the article conveyed along the transport direction, and applying print marks to the article by the printing element. The instant abstract is neither intended to define the invention disclosed in this specification nor intended to limit the scope of the invention in any way.



Inventors:
Dombek, Manfred (Dassendorf, DE)
Voss, Helmut (Lockstedt, DE)
Overath, Matthias (Hamburg, DE)
Application Number:
10/868771
Publication Date:
01/06/2005
Filing Date:
06/17/2004
Assignee:
Hauni Maschinenbau AG (Hamburg, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B41J3/407; A24C5/38; A24C5/60; B41F17/20; B41J15/04; B41J15/22; (IPC1-7): A24C1/42
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CULLER, JILL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A process for applying print marks to an article comprising: conveying the article along a transport direction at a predetermined conveyor speed; and during a printing procedure, reducing a relative speed between a printing element and the article conveyed along the transport direction; and applying print marks to the article by the printing element.

2. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the article is an article of the tobacco processing industry.

3. The process in accordance with claim 2, wherein the article of the tobacco industry is a wrapping strip.

4. The process in accordance with claim 3, wherein the wrapping strip comprises one of a cigarette paper strip and a rod-shaped smoking article.

5. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the reducing of the relative speed comprises moving the printing element along the transport direction at one of a same or an approximately same speed as the conveyor speed of the article.

6. The process in accordance with claim 1, further comprising moving at least one of the printing element and the article transversely to the transport direction.

7. The process in accordance with claim 6, wherein the at least one of the printing element and the article are moved perpendicularly to the transport direction.

8. The process in accordance with claim 1, further comprising moving at least one of the printing element and the article forwardly and backwardly in a direction transverse to the transport direction.

9. The process in accordance with claim 8, wherein the at least one of the printing element and the article are moved forwardly and backwardly in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction.

10. The process in accordance with claim 1, further comprising deflecting the article during the printing process.

11. The process in accordance with claim 10, wherein the article is deflected in a looped manner.

12. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the article is conveyed on a rotary body during the printing process.

13. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the printing element is guided on a rotary body.

14. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the printing element prints several print marks on the article.

15. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the printing element is programmed with print data for the print mark or print marks.

16. The process in accordance with claim 1, further comprising exchanging the printing element after expendable material of the printing element is used up.

17. The process in accordance with claim 1, wherein the printing element is adjusted for the printing process.

18. A device for applying print marks to an article in accordance with the process of claim 1.

19. A device for applying print marks to an article comprising: at least one printing element; conveyor device structured and arranged for conveying an article to be printed in a transport direction at a predetermined speed; a drive device structured and arranged for moving said printing element, during a printing procedure, in the transport direction at a speed to reduce relative speed between said at least one printing element and said conveyor.

20. The device in accordance with claim 19, wherein the article is an article of the tobacco processing industry.

21. The device in accordance with claim 20, wherein the article of the tobacco processing industry is a wrapping strip.

22. The device in accordance with claim 21, wherein the wrapping strip comprises one of a cigarette paper strip or a rod-shaped smoking article.

23. The device in accordance with claim 19, wherein the drive device is structured to move said at least one printing element in the transport direction at one of a same or an approximately same speed as the predetermined speed.

24. The device in accordance with claim 19, further comprising a shifting device structured and arranged for shifting at least one of said at least one printing element and the article in a direction transversely to the transport direction.

25. The device in accordance with claim 24, wherein the shifting device shifts the at least one of said at least one printing element and the article perpendicularly to the transport direction.

26. The device in accordance with claim 19, further comprising a shifting device structured and arranged to shift at least one of said at least one printing element and the article forwardly and backwardly in a direction transverse to the conveyor direction.

27. The device in accordance with claim 26, wherein the shifting device shifts the at least one of said at least one printing element and the article forwardly and backwardly in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction.

28. The device in accordance with claim 19, further comprising a deflection device structured and arranged to deflect the article during a printing procedure.

29. The device in accordance with claim 28, wherein the deflection device is structured to deflect the article in a looped manner.

30. The device in accordance with claim 19, further comprising a rotary body structured and arranged for conveying the article during a printing procedure.

31. The device in accordance with claim 19, further comprising a rotary body structured and arranged for guiding said at least one printing element.

32. The device in accordance with claim 19, wherein said at least one printing element comprises a plurality of printing elements, and said rotary body is structured and arranged for guiding said plurality of printing elements.

33. The device in accordance with claim 19, wherein said at least one printing element is programmable.

34. The device in accordance with claim 19, wherein said at least one printing element is exchangable.

35. The device in accordance with claim 19, wherein said at least one printing element is structured to apply a multi-colored print mark onto the article.

36. A machine of the tobacco processing industry comprising said device in accordance with claim 19.

37. The machine in accordance with claim 36, wherein said machine is a cigarette rod maker.

38. The machine in accordance with claim 37, wherein said machine is a tipping machine.

39. An apparatus for printing on an article, comprising: an article conveyor having at least one seat structured to guide the article in a transport direction at a conveyor speed; at least one movable printing element; a drive device for moving said at least one movable printing element, during a printing procedure, at a speed corresponding to the conveyor speed; and a drive device for moving at least one of said at least one seat and said at least one movable printing element in a direction cross-wise to the transport direction.

40. The apparatus in accordance with claim 39, wherein said at least one printing element comprises a plurality of printing elements, and said article conveyor comprises a rotatable cylinder, and said apparatus further comprises: a rotatable disk having a surface to which said plurality of printing elements are mounted for bi-directional movement normal to the surface, wherein said rotatable disk is rotatable in the transport direction.

41. The apparatus in accordance with claim 40, wherein a range of said bi-directional movement is sufficient to allow the printing element to cross an entirety of the width of the article.

42. The apparatus in accordance with claim 39, wherein said article conveyor comprises a rotatable cylinder having a plurality of seats mounted for bi-directional movement cross-wise to the transport direction.

43. The apparatus in accordance with claim 42, wherein a range of said bidirectional movement is sufficient to allow an entirety of the width of the article to cross the printing element.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. ยง119 of European Patent Application No. 03 014 930.6, filed on Jul. 1, 2003, the disclosure of which is expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a process and a device for applying print marks by a printing element to an article of the tobacco processing industry, in particular wrapping strips, preferably cigarette paper strips or a rod-shaped smoking article, conveyed along a transport direction at a predetermined conveyor speed. Furthermore, the invention relates to a machine of the tobacco processing industry, in particular a cigarette rod maker (rod-making machine) or a filter tipping machine.

2. Discussion of Background Information

Printing units for applying print marks to a wrapping strip of the tobacco processing industry are known from the prior art. For example, an imprint is printed on the cigarette paper strip in a cigarette rod maker with a printing roll. Rod-shaped articles such as cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars or filter rods or the like are produced in the rod maker in a rod process. The tobacco rods are wrapped in the cigarette rod maker by the wrapping strip, whereby the wrapping strips used feature print marks or print images that can be, e.g., cigarette brands, manufacturer names or other information.

In the context of the invention, smoking articles should be understood to be cigarettes with and without filters and all other rod-shaped smoking articles with a printed wrapping strip, whereby the imprint appearing on the article primarily shows the brand. Such an imprint or stamp is a conspicuous quality feature of such articles and requires particular care regarding the components and production conditions necessary for its production, such as the type and condition of the ink used and its supply, transfer and distribution through several rolls up to application through the wrapping strip.

The printing units installed in the rod makers according to the prior art comprise a roll arrangement, whereby the material web to be printed is guided between the rolls. To apply the print marks or print images a so-called printing roll is provided which is synchronized with the continuously moved material web. As a rule the printing roll is in contact with a counter pressure roll thereby, whereby the wrapping strip is guided between the printing roll and the counter pressure roll.

However, the printing units have the disadvantage that as a result of the rotation of the printing roll the quality of the imprint is reduced or under certain circumstances is impossible at a higher conveyor speed of the wrapping strip, so that at higher machine speeds the manufacture of cigarette rods with an imprint on the wrapping strip is considerably restricted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention renders possible the printing of print images on articles of the tobacco processing industry, in particular wrapping strips or rod-shaped articles, at high conveyor speeds of the articles. In this way, it should be possible to apply the print mark flawlessly at high conveyor speeds of the article.

Accordingly, the instant invention is directed to a process for applying print marks by a printing element on an article of the tobacco processing industry, in particular wrapping strips, preferably cigarette paper strips or a rod-shaped smoking article, conveyed along a transport direction at a predetermined conveyor speed, in which the relative speed between the printing element and the article is reduced along the transport direction during the printing process. During the application of the printing mark on the article, the printing element producing the print image is moved (entrained) in the transport direction of the conveyed article, so that during this movement of the printing element together with the article a reliable imprint of the print mark is made through the printing element. In contrast to the prior art, the material strip to be printed is no longer rolled up on the printing roll; instead the printing element is likewise conveyed in the conveyor direction of the material strip.

A reliable imprint on the article is achieved in that the printing element is moved along the transport direction at approximately the same or the same speed as the conveyor speed of the article.

A uniform imprint is obtained in particular when the printing element and/or the article are moved transverse, in particular perpendicular to the transport direction, whereby the printing element and the article move in the same transport direction. This leads to two movement directions, in the conveyor direction and transverse to the conveyor direction, being superimposed. If, for example, the printing element is guided perpendicular to the transport direction, the printing element exerts a lifting movement at the same time.

In particular the printing element and/or the article perform a backward and forward movement transverse, in particular perpendicular to the transport direction. Through this, e.g., the printing element is guided back into its starting position before the start of printing, so that the printing element applies one or more print images onto the article after a certain period of time or at equidistant intervals.

In order to carry out the method in a machine if possible within a narrow or limited space, the article is deflected during the printing process, in particular in a looped manner, so that this leads to a compact construction of the printing unit. A larger transport path is covered through the looped deflection.

It is particularly advantageous when the article is conveyed on a rotary body during the printing process, since the article rests on the rotary body with one side, i.e., the unprinted side, and is printed from the other side.

Moreover, the printing element is guided on a rotary body so that the relative speed to the article is low when the article is conveyed on the rotary body of the article.

Preferably several print marks are printed on the article by the printing element so that in addition to a brand name, e.g., also product-identifying numbers can be printed on surfaces of the wrapping strip that are covered in subsequent gluing processes, e.g., by tipping paper webs at the filter tipping machine. Moreover, imprints can be applied on these surfaces in the seam area of the cigarettes in order to determine the genuineness of the product.

Furthermore, it is advantageous when the printing element is programmed with print data for the print mark or the print marks so that a rapid garniture exchange is possible at the printing unit without changing the printing element. During a garniture exchange at the cigarette rod maker, a corresponding data set for the new garniture has therefore to be transmitted to the printing element so that the new imprint for the new tobacco garniture to be produced is applied to the wrapping strip.

In a further development of the invention, the printing element is exchanged after expendable material of the printing element is used up, so that a quick exchange, e.g., of an empty printing cartridge is carried out quickly.

Moreover, it is advantageous when the printing element is adjusted for the printing process so that the printing element is easily adapted for an imprint according to the requirements for the print image and paper or other operating conditions.

The instant invention is directed to a device for applying print marks with a printing element to at least one article of the tobacco processing industry, preferably wrapping strips, in particular cigarette paper strips or a rod-shaped smoking article, conveyed along a transport direction at a predetermined conveyor speed. Further, the device, during the printing process the printing element, can be moved along the transport direction of the article such that the relative speed between the printing element and the article is reduced.

To this end it is provided that the printing element can be moved along the transport direction at approximately the same or the same speed as the conveyor speed of the article.

In particular the printing element and/or the article can be moved transverse, in particular perpendicular to the transport direction.

In order to carry out a lifting movement during the application of the print image, the printing element and/or the article can be moved backward and forward transverse, in particular perpendicular, to the transport direction.

A space-saving printing device is achieved when a device is provided for deflecting the article during the printing process, particularly in a looped manner.

To this end it is favorable when a rotary body is provided for conveying the article during the printing process.

Moreover, advantageously a rotary body is provided for the printing element.

Furthermore, it is preferred for several printing elements to be provided so that during the conveying of the article several sections, e.g., of a wrapping paper strip, are provided with a print image at the same time and next to one another.

In an advantageous further development of the invention it is provided that at least one printing element can be programmed so that the imprint on the cigarette paper strip is changed in a simple manner during a garniture change at the cigarette rod maker. Thus a laborious exchange, e.g., of a printing roll according to the prior art with a new type face is no longer necessary.

When the printing ink in the printing element has been used up, it is preferred that at least one printing element can be exchanged. The exchange can take place automatically.

A preferred embodiment of the device is wherein at least one printing element applies a multi-colored print mark to the article.

Furthermore, the instant invention is directed to a machine of the tobacco processing industry, in particular a cigarette rod maker or filter tipping machine, that is provided with a device according to the invention as described above. The printing device according to the invention is preferably used for printing a wrapping strip on a cigarette rod maker. Moreover through the printing unit according to the invention it is also possible to print individual finished filter cigarettes or other rod-shaped smoking articles.

The present invention is directed to a process for applying print marks to an article that includes conveying the article along a transport direction at a predetermined conveyor speed, during a printing procedure, reducing a relative speed between a printing element and the article conveyed along the transport direction, and applying print marks to the article by the printing element.

In accordance with a feature of the invention, the article is an article of the tobacco processing industry. Further, the article of the tobacco industry can be a wrapping strip, and may be one of a cigarette paper strip and a rod-shaped smoking article.

According to another feature of the invention, the reducing of the relative speed can include moving the printing element along the transport direction at one of a same or an approximately same speed as the conveyor speed of the article.

The process can also include moving at least one of the printing element and the article transversely to the transport direction. The at least one of the printing element and the article can be moved perpendicularly to the transport direction.

Moreover, the process can include moving at least one of the printing element and the article forwardly and backwardly in a direction transverse to the transport direction. Further, the at least one of the printing element and the article may be moved forwardly and backwardly in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction.

In accordance with still another feature of the present invention, the process can include deflecting the article during the printing process. The article may be deflected in a looped manner.

According to a further feature of the instant invention, the article may be conveyed on a rotary body during the printing process.

In accordance with still another feature, the printing element can be guided on a rotary body.

According to the invention, the printing element may print several print marks on the article.

According to a still further feature, the printing element can be programmed with print data for the print mark or print marks.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the process can include exchanging the printing element after expendable material of the printing element is used up.

Moreover, the printing element can be adjusted for the printing process.

The present invention is directed to a device for applying print marks to an article in accordance with the above-described process.

The present invention is directed to a device for applying print marks to an article that includes at least one printing element, a conveyor device structured and arranged for conveying an article to be printed in a transport direction at a predetermined speed, and a drive device structured and arranged for moving the printing element, during a printing procedure, in the transport direction at a speed to reduce relative speed between the at least one printing element and the conveyor.

According to a feature of the invention, the article may be an article of the tobacco processing industry. The article of the tobacco processing industry can be a wrapping strip, and may include one of a cigarette paper strip or a rod-shaped smoking article.

In accordance with another feature, the drive device can be structured to move the at least one printing element in the transport direction at one of a same or an approximately same speed as the predetermined speed.

According to a further feature, a shifting device can be structured and arranged for shifting at least one of the at least one printing element and the article in a direction transversely to the transport direction. The shifting device can shift the at least one of the at least one printing element and the article perpendicularly to the transport direction.

Still further, a shifting device can be structured and arranged to shift at least one of the at least one printing element and the article forwardly and backwardly in a direction transverse to the conveyor direction. The shifting device may shift the at least one of the at least one printing element and the article forwardly and backwardly in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction.

A deflection device can be structured and arranged to deflect the article during a printing procedure. The deflection device may be structured to deflect the article in a looped manner.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, a rotary body can be structured and arranged for conveying the article during a printing procedure.

According to still another feature of the instant invention, a rotary body may be structured and arranged for guiding the at least one printing element.

Further still, the at least one printing element may include a plurality of printing elements, and the rotary body can be structured and arranged for guiding the plurality of printing elements.

According to still another feature of the present invention, the at least one printing element is structured to apply a multi-colored print mark onto the article.

The instant invention is directed to a machine of the tobacco processing industry comprising the above-described device. Further, the machine can be a cigarette rod maker or the machine is a tipping machine.

The instant invention is directed to an apparatus for printing on an article that includes an article conveyor having at least one seat structured to guide the article in a transport direction at a conveyor speed, at least one movable printing element, a drive device for moving the at least one movable printing element, during a printing procedure, at a speed corresponding to the conveyor speed, and a drive device for moving at least one of the at least one seat and the at least one movable printing element in a direction cross-wise to the transport direction.

In accordance with the invention, the at least one printing element may include a plurality of printing elements, and the article conveyor can include a rotatable cylinder, and the apparatus can further include a rotatable disk having a surface to which the plurality of printing elements are mounted for bi-directional movement normal to the surface. The rotatable disk is rotatable in the transport direction. A range of the bi-directional movement is sufficient to allow the printing element to cross an entirety of the width of the article.

In accordance with still yet another feature of the present invention, the article conveyor may include a rotatable cylinder having a plurality of seats mounted for bi-directional movement cross-wise to the transport direction. A range of the bi-directional movement may be sufficient to allow an entirety of the width of the article to cross the printing element.

Other exemplary embodiments and advantages of the present invention may be ascertained by reviewing the present disclosure and the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is further described in the detailed description which follows, in reference to the noted plurality of drawings by way of non-limiting examples of exemplary embodiments of the present invention, in which like reference numerals represent similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings, and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a cigarette rod maker equipped with a printing device according to the invention;

FIGS. 2a-2c illustrate different perspective views of a printing device according to the invention;

FIGS. 3a and 3b illustrate a front view and side view of a printing device;

FIGS. 4a and 4b illustrate a front view and side view of an alternative embodiment of a printing device;

FIG. 5 illustrates a section of a printed wrapping strip in diagrammatic form; and

FIGS. 6a and 6b illustrate a front view and side view of a drum arrangement in a cigarette tipping machine in a diagrammatic form.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The particulars shown herein are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the embodiments of the present invention only and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the present invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the present invention in more detail than is necessary for the fundamental understanding of the present invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the present invention may be embodied in practice.

In the cigarette rod maker shown in FIG. 1, a pre-distributor 2 is supplied from a gate 1 with tobacco in portions. A removal roll 3 of the pre-distributor 2 replenishes a storage container 4 with tobacco in a targeted manner from which a steep conveyor 5 removes tobacco and supplies a retaining chute 6 in a controlled manner.

From the retaining chute 6 a pin roll 7 removes a uniform stream of tobacco that is knocked out of the pins of the pin roll 7 by a beater roll 8 and propelled onto a spreader belt 9 rotating at a constant speed. A tobacco web formed on the spreader belt 9 is propelled into a separating device 11 that is composed essentially of an air curtain through which larger or heavier tobacco parts pass, whereas all other tobacco particles are deflected by the air into a funnel 14 formed by a pin roll 12 and a wall 13.

The tobacco is propelled by the pin roll 12 into a tobacco channel 16 against a rod conveyor 17 on which the tobacco is held by air suctioned into a vacuum chamber 18 and a tobacco rod is poured.

An equalizer 19 removes excess tobacco from the tobacco rod that is then laid on a cigarette paper strip 21 guided in a synchronous manner. The cigarette paper strip 21 is pulled off a bobbin 22, guided through a printing device 23 and laid on a driven garniture belt 24. The garniture belt 24 transports the tobacco rod and the cigarette paper strip 21 through a garniture 26 in which the cigarette paper strip 21 is folded around the tobacco rod so that one edge still projects which is glued by a gluing device (not shown) in a known manner. Subsequently, the glued seam is closed and dried by a tandem seam smoother 27.

A cigarette rod 28 thus formed passes through a rod density measuring device 29 that controls the equalizer 19 and is cut into double-length cigarettes 32 by a knife device 31. The double-length cigarettes 32 are transferred by a transfer device 34 of a transfer drum 36 of a filter tipping machine 37 which transfer device features controlled arms 33, on the cutting drum 38 of which filter tipping machine they are separated into individual cigarettes with a circular knife.

Conveyor belts 39, 41 convey excess tobacco into a container 42 arranged from the storage container 4, from which container 42 the returned tobacco is removed again by the steep conveyor 5.

Only one cigarette rod is produced in the rod maker shown in FIG. 1, so this is a single-line machine of the tobacco processing industry. Accordingly only one web of a cigarette paper strip is hereby printed by the printing device 23 according to the invention.

With the printing device 230 shown in FIGS. 2a through 2c, two webs of a material strip 210.1, 210.2 are provided with print marks for a double rod machine. Of course it is possible to also print only one material strip.

Different views of the printing device 230 are shown in perspective in FIGS. 2a through 2c.

The two material strips 210.1, 210.2 are deflected parallel and next to one another by two deflection rolls 50, 51, so that the material strips 210.1, 210.2 rest around a rotating cylinder body 60 and wrap around the cylinder body 60 with a high degree of grip. The deflection roll 51 is arranged on an arm 52, so that the material strips 210.1, 210.2 rest on the jacket surface of the cylinder body 60 taut and free of creases.

Print heads 70 are arranged on a rotary body 71 around the cylinder body 60 at regular intervals. The rotary body 71 rotates in the same direction as the cylinder body 60. During the rotation of the cylinder body 60 and the rotary body 71, the print heads 70 are moved perpendicular to the rotation movement so that during their lift movement print marks are imprinted on the material strips 210.1, 210.2. During a full revolution of the rotary body 71, a full lift movement of the print head 70 is carried out with a forward and backward movement. During this forward and backward movement the print marks are completely imprinted on the material strips 210.1, 210.2.

Ink jet print heads, for example, are used as print heads, whereby the ink used in particular meets the national standards or tobacco ordinances. In order to ensure a good ink flow, a pressure, in particular a regulated pressure, is exerted on the ink in the container of the ink cartridges, which pressure acts against the centrifugal forces dependent on the rotational speed. A membrane is located for this between the atmosphere and the ink.

According to the invention it is provided that the rotational speed or the conveyor speed of the print heads 70 on the rotary body 71 and the material strips 210.1, 210.2 or the rotational speed of the cylinder body 60 are the same, so that there is no relative speed between the material strips 210.1, 210.2 and the respective print heads 70. A reliable imprint of the print marks is thus guaranteed even at a high conveyor speed of the material strips 210.1, 210.1.

Through the lift movement of the print heads 70 it is achieved that the transport paths of the material strips 210.1, 210.2 and the print heads 70 lead past one anther, since at their reversal point the print heads 70 are conveyed through and past underneath the material strips 210.1, 210.2.

After complete printing of the material strips 210.1, 210.2, the two material strips 210.1, 210.2 are respectively fed via a deflection roll 53 to a tobacco rod on a double-line cigarette rod maker.

The lengths of a single length cut tobacco rod are indicated respectively by the transverse lines regularly indicated on the material strips 210.1, 210.2.

The print marks are applied on the mouth end of the material strip 210.1, 210.2 of the subsequently formed single length cut tobacco rods. To this end the print marks adjacent to one another are printed in a mirror inverted manner at the subsequent cut of a double-length cut tobacco rod. To this end the print heads 70 feature two application points arranged next to one another.

FIGS. 3a, 3b show in diagrammatic form a printing device 23 for a single-web material strip 21 in a front view and a side view. In analogous manner to the exemplary embodiment according to FIGS. 2a through 2c, the material strip 21 is guided over the deflection rolls 50, 51 and 53 around the jacket surface of the cylinder body 60 with a high grip. The printing process takes place transverse to the transport direction, whereby the time for applying the print image is extended to a corresponding number of cigarette cycles through the simultaneous use of several print heads 70.

Within the scope of the invention it is also possible to arrange the print heads inside the cylinder body 60 so that the application of the print marks on the material strips takes place from inside. In this case the lift to be carried out by the print heads is smaller, since in this case only the print area has to be covered and the paper circulates on the jacket surface of the cylinder body 60 on the outside.

In FIG. 3a the various work areas of the print heads during their rotation and lift movement in a complete rotation are shown by Roman numerals. In area I a print head is guided next to the material strip 21 so that no imprint occurs in this area. In area II a forward movement perpendicular to the drawing plane is carried out and the print head 70 is guided laterally to the material strip. Subsequently in area III the material strip 21 is printed while the movement direction perpendicular out of the drawing plane is maintained. In the transition from area III to area IV the print head has reached its final position and the reversal point for the total lift H (cf. FIG. 3b). Subsequently in area IV the print head is moved back, whereby in this area IV the cigarette paper 21 is likewise printed. In area V the print head is moved back.

In FIGS. 4a, 4b a further printing device 23 according to the invention is shown in a front and side view whereby the rolls 51, 52 carry out the deflection of the cigarette paper strip 21 by a holder 54. In this printing device 23 the print heads 70 feature the five working positions I through V.

In addition to applying a print image, which can also be multi-colored, further information or safety information for the genuineness of a product can be imprinted.

FIG. 5 shows diagrammatically a section of a cigarette paper strip 21 the length of which corresponds to the length of two cut tobacco rods. In the mouth area of the subsequent cut tobacco rods, the printable area is shown in a shaded manner. The dashed line 121 shows the position of the subsequent cut edge of the cut tobacco rods.

Since the print head 70 has a print width DB, the entire dashed area can be printed. In particular it is possible to describe the overlapping area of one tipping paper web and a cut tobacco rod. This area is labeled with reference number 122. Since the tipping paper web is placed around this connection point, the imprinted information about the cigarette or the type of manufacture, etc., is not visible. Further information on the genuineness or on the quality control can be applied near the cut tobacco rod seam by the print head 70. This area is labeled with reference number 123.

In the printing devices 230, 23 shown in FIGS. 2a through 4b, the print heads 70 used as printing elements are moved transverse or perpendicular to the transport direction of the material strips 210.1, 210.2, 21. Within the scope of the invention it is also possible for articles of the tobacco processing industry, e.g., rod-shaped smoking articles, in particular filter cigarettes, to be moved transverse to the transport direction. One example is shown diagrammatically in FIGS. 6a and 6b in a front and side view. The drum arrangement 100 shown in these Figures is present, e.g., in a filter tipping machine.

Filter cigarettes of single unit length 90 are hereby transferred from a conveyor drum 101 to a conveyor drum 102. On this conveyor drum 102 the filter cigarettes 90 are displaced in a manner transverse to the axis and perpendicular to the transport direction and inserted into the seats 170 of a printing drum 160. This takes place in area II.

In work areas III, IV imprints are applied to the cigarette paper of the filter cigarettes 90, whereby in the transition from work area III to work area IV the filter cigarettes have achieved their final point of the lift H and reversal point. In the work area IV the filter cigarettes 90 are transported in the opposite direction in a longitudinally axial manner while the imprint on the filter cigarettes 90 is completed. In the work area V the cigarettes are moved completely out of the seats of the printing drum 160 and transferred to a conveyor drum 103.

The printing drum 160 has individual print heads 170, the number of which corresponds exactly to the number of seats of the conveyor drum 102. The printing drum 160 moves at the same conveyor speed as the conveyor drum 102, so that there is no relative speed between the print heads 170 and the inserted filter cigarettes 90.

The advantage achieved with the invention is that on articles of the tobacco processing industry a clean print image is applied to the articles, whereby the articles are conveyed at a high conveyor speed, e.g., in a cigarette rod maker or a filter tipping machine. Moreover, multi-colored print images can also be realized on the articles.

It is noted that the foregoing examples have been provided merely for the purpose of explanation and are in no way to be construed as limiting of the present invention. While the present invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it is understood that the words which have been used herein are words of description and illustration, rather than words of limitation. Changes may be made, within the purview of the appended claims, as presently stated and as amended, without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention in its aspects. Although the present invention has been described herein with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the particulars disclosed herein; rather, the present invention extends to all functionally equivalent structures, methods and uses, such as are within the scope of the appended claims.

List of Reference Numbers

  • 1 Gate
  • 2 Pre-distributor
  • 3 Removal roll
  • 4 Storage container
  • 5 Steep conveyor
  • 6 Retaining chute
  • 7 Pin roll
  • 8 Beater roll
  • 9 Spreader belt
  • 11 Separating device
  • 13 Belt
  • 14 Funnel
  • 16 Tobacco channel
  • 17 Rod conveyor
  • 18 Vacuum chamber
  • 19 Equalizer
  • 21 Cigarette paper strip
  • 22 Bobbin
  • 23 Printing device
  • 24 Garniture belt
  • 26 Garniture
  • 27 Tandem seam smoother
  • 28 Cigarette rod
  • 29 Rod density measuring device
  • 31 Knife device
  • 32 Double-length cigarettes
  • 33 Arms
  • 34 Transfer device
  • 36 Transfer drum
  • 37 Filter tipping machine
  • 38 Cutting drum
  • 39 Conveyor belt
  • 41 Conveyor belt
  • 42 Container
  • 50 Deflection roll
  • 51 Deflection roll
  • 52 Arm
  • 54 Holder
  • 12 Pin roll
  • 60 Cylinder body
  • 71 Rotary body
  • 90 Filter cigarettes
  • 100 Drum arrangement
  • 101 Conveyor drum
  • 102 Conveyor drum
  • 103 Conveyor drum
  • 121 Cutting line
  • 122 Overlapping area
  • 123 Area (cut tobacco rod seam)
  • 160 Printing drum
  • 170 Print heads
  • 210.1 Material strip
  • 210.2 Material strip
  • 230 Printing device
  • I Work area
  • II Work area
  • III Work area
  • IV Work area
  • V Work area
  • H Lift
  • DB Printing width