Title:
Cigarette paper with selected attenuator bands
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Smoke constituent reduction may be achieved by resolving from puff-to-puff analysis at which location along a tobacco rod production of a particular smoke constituent is maximized, and locally applying an attenuator at such resolved location to reduce production of the constituent. The remainder of the rod is left untreated so as to minimize impact on taste and burn characteristics of the cigarette. The attenuator material may be applied to the cigarette paper using a moving orifice device to create bands of such materials on the cigarette paper at predetermined locations along the tobacco rod.



Inventors:
Atwell, Charles G. (Mechanicsville, VA, US)
Fournier, Jay A. (Richmond, VA, US)
Garthaffner, Martin T. (Chesterfield, VA, US)
Tafur, Susan S. (Midlothian, VA, US)
Application Number:
10/477097
Publication Date:
02/03/2005
Filing Date:
05/08/2002
Assignee:
ATWELL CHARLES G.
FOURNIER JAY A
GARTHAFFNER MARTIN T
TAFUR SUSAN S
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24C5/00; A24C5/28; A24D1/02; (IPC1-7): A24C1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FELTON, MICHAEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A method of manufacturing a cigarette comprising the steps of: feeding banded cigarette paper along a path through a tobacco rod forming device and to a cutter; operating said cutter to repetitively and in a predetermined phase relationship with respect to arrival of a banded region of said fed banded cigarette paper at said cutter so as to repetitively produce a tobacco rod structure, said tobacco rod structure including a feature of a banded region at a predetermined location along said tobacco rod structure; maintaining consistency of said feature by: during said feeding step, generating a first signal indicative of a passage of a banded region at a first location along said path; generating a second signal indicative of an operational phase of said cutter, processing said first and second signals to generate an output signal indicative of a perturbation away from said phase relationship; and operating a lag-lead mechanism responsively to said output signal and counteractively to said perturbation.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising the step of making a bobbin of banded paper by establishing a base web and operating a moving orifice slurry applicator to establish banded regions at spaced locations along said base web.

3. A plurality of tobacco rods each including tobacco, a wrapper and a cut end formed by cutting the tobacco rods in a repeated spatial relation with respect to a band of material applied to the wrapper so that the bands are positioned at a preselected location along the rods.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Smoke constituent reduction may be achieved by resolving from puff-to-puff analysis at which location along a tobacco rod production of a particular smoke constituent is maximized, and locally applying an attenuator at such resolved location to reduce production of the constituent. The remainder of the rod is left untreated so as to minimize impact on taste and burn characteristics of the cigarette.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

For example, it has been discovered that 40-50% of the formaldehyde found in mainstream tobacco smoke is formed in the first puff. Any one or a combination of cigarette modifications made at the front (lit) end of the tobacco rod will reduce formaldehyde. These modifications include the introduction of an ammonium-source compound, such as ammonium bicarbonate to the tip of the tobacco rod, and the addition of alkali metal salts (fire retardants) such as potassium bicarbonate or potassium phosphate.

These components may be applied to the cigarette paper using a moving orifice device to create bands of the add-on compound on the cigarette paper. During cigarette making operations, the cigarette rod making machinery includes registration of the compound-containing bands with tobacco rod portions that correspond to the free end portions of the completed cigarettes. The compound-containing band may be approximately 3 to 7 mm wide or possibly wider.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Novel features and advantages of the present invention in addition to those noted above will become apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the art from a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts and in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a cigarette produced by the process and apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of cigarette paper produced by the process and apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of apparatus for producing the cigarette paper shown in FIG. 2, according to the present invention;

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of a portion of the perforated belt of the moving orifice slurry applicator shown in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view showing the production of the cigarette shown in FIG. 1, according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring in more particularity to the drawings, a preferred method of manufacturing a cigarette 10 begins with the manufacture of a bobbin 12 of banded paper 14 comprising a continuous ribbon of base web material 16 together with a plurality of spaced-apart transverse regions (or bands) of add-on material 18 comprising the desired attenuator material. The base web material 16 is typically a flax or wood pulp fiber mat of basis weight and permeability typical of those used in commercially offered cigarettes.

Preferably, the bobbins 12 are constructed in accordance with processes and apparatus described in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,534,114 and 5,997,691, which patents are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

In a preferred embodiment, pulp slurry 20 is deposited upon a Fourdrinier wire 22 of a paper making machine 24 to form the base web 16. At a location along the Fourdinier wire 22, preferably downstream of the wet-line of the wire, additional (add-on) material 18 is deposited upon the base web 16 in the form of tansverse (cross-directional stripes) utilizing a moving orifice slurry applicator 26 which is supported in a fixed relation across the wire 22 at a angle to the moving direction of the wire. Preferably, the slurry applicator 26 comprises an elongate, open-bottom slurry box 28, an endless, perforated belt 30 which passes along the underside of box 28, a system 32 for supplying add-on material (slurry) to the slurry box and a drive arrangement 34 operative to move the belt along its endless path. Preferably, the belt 30 includes a row of equally spaced apart holes 36 and the endless belt is driven at a predetermined fixed speed, such that, because of the angle of the slurry box 28, the speed of the wire 22 and the speed of the belt 30, a plurality of orthogonal spaced apart banded regions 18 are generated upon the base web 16. Subsequently the base web 16, together with the banded regions 18 are dried, rolled-up, and slit into bobbins, preferably utilizing drying and slitting techniques commonly practiced in the art of manufacturing cigarette paper.

A further aspect of the manufacture of cigarette 10 is modification of a typical cigarette making machine 50 comprising a garniture 52, a paper feed system 54 for feeding a ribbon of paper 14 to the garniture, a tobacco feed system 56 for establishing and feeding a column of tobacco 58 toward the garniture 52 and a cutter 60 downstream of the garniture. Downstream of garniture 52, a continuous tobacco rod 62 is formed and cut at the cutter 60 into two-up tobacco rods 64. Preferably, the cigarette maker 50 of the present invention further includes a sensor 70, a data processing (controller) unit 72 and a “lag-lead” mechanism 74 operative upon the paper 14 as it is being fed into the garniture 52 of the cigarette maker 50, such that operation of the cutter 60 is always in desired registry (relation) with the banded regions 18. Preferably, the sensor 70 is configured in accordance with the teachings of commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 6,020,969, which patent is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

More particularly, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the sensor 70 is configured to generate a signal indicative of the passing of each banded region 18 by the sensor, which signal is communicated to the controller unit 72, along with another signal from a cutter phase detector 76 which is indicative of the operational phase relationship of the cutter 60. The controller unit 72 is programmed to process these signals to generate an output signal to the lag-lead mechanism 74 to maintain proper relation of the banded regions 18 relative to the cutter 60 as the continuous tobacco rod 62 enters the cutter 60.

Preferably the lag-lead mechanism 74 is a displaceable roller that is displaceable responsively to signals received from the controller, which in a first or “retracted” position, tends to add an incremental amount of length to the path of the paper 14 so as to retard (cause an incremental amount of lag) the arrival of banded regions to the cutter 60 so that a desired registration of cutter operation and the banded regions is maintained. Alternatively, in a second or “extended” position, the mechanism 74 may effect an incremental shortening of the path of the paper 14 so as to cause an incremental amount of lead (advancement) in the arrival of the banded regions 18 at the cutter 60.

In the alternative, the sensor 70 might be located between the garniture 52 and the cutter 60 and be operative upon the continuous tobacco rod 62. Furthermore, in this embodiment, the lag-lead adjustment mechanism is preferably operative instead upon operation of the cutter so as to maintain the desired phase relationship between the cutter operation and the arrival of banded regions 18 at the cutter 60.

Additionally, in another embodiment, the output of the controller 72 is communicated to a servo drive unit 80 of the garniture belt 82 to maintain operational registration of the cutter 60 to the arrival of banded regions 18 at the cutter. If the controller resolves a drift (advance or lag) away from optimal registry, the servo drive 80 is operated as a lag-lead mechanism to make an intermittent compensatory adjustment in the speed of the garniture belt for a brief duration, immediately after which, the garniture belt is returned to its steady state operational speed. Compensatory adjustment of the garniture belt may be used in combination with the lag-lead mechanism 74 or as an alternative to that mechanism.