Title:
Apparatus for manufacturing rod-shaped tobacco products with a filter, in particular filter cigarettes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus for making rod-shaped tobacco products with a filter that includes a tobacco stick delivery device, a filter delivery device, a covering paper delivery device, a cigarette making device, a cigarette testing device, and a cigarette dispensing device. All the devices, in which each device includes at least one drum, are arranged to form a drum course. A drive element is structured and arranged to drive at least some of the drums of the drum course in positional synchronization with the transport of the rod-shaped tobacco products, and a drum unit is composed of at least one drum, which is not one of the at least some drums, and a bearing and control flange. At least one separate additional drive element is structured and arranged to drive the at least one drum, and a drive unit is composed of the separate drive element and the drum unit. 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)
Grothaus, Frank (Hamburg, DE)
Pawelko, Karl-heinz (Marschacht, DE)
Folger, Manfred (Hamburg, DE)
Brinkmann, Bernhard (Bornsen, DE)
Rottmann, Franz (Glinde, DE)
Plahn, Dieter (Barum, DE)
Krause, Lothar (Hamburg, DE)
Application Number:
10/886600
Publication Date:
02/03/2005
Filing Date:
07/09/2004
Assignee:
Hauni Maschinenbau AG (Hamburg, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
131/280
International Classes:
A24C5/00; A24C5/32; A24C5/34; A24C5/39; A24C5/47; (IPC1-7): A24C1/32
View Patent Images:
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20050109357Burley tobacco products having reduced nitrosamine contentMay, 2005Williams
20080216847Fine-Cut-Tobacco Portion Pack And Process For Producing Fine-Cut-Tobacco Portion PacksSeptember, 2008Demmer et al.
20080087289Gaming table smoke control systems and processesApril, 2008Tanner
20100051040ODOR REDUCING ASHTRAYMarch, 2010Bathey
20090314299CIGARETTE AND CIGAR CONTAINER AND DISPOSAL RECEPTACLEDecember, 2009Kilpatrick
20090151738DEGRADABLE CIGARETTE FILTERJune, 2009Robertson et al.
20100043810Packaging For Rolling Papers For Smoking ArticlesFebruary, 2010Kesselman
20080029111FILTERED CIGARETTE POSSESSING TIPPING MATERIALFebruary, 2008Dube et al.



Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ, CARLOS N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for making rod-shaped tobacco products with a filter, comprising: a tobacco stick delivery device; a filter delivery device; a covering paper delivery device; a cigarette making device; a cigarette testing device; a cigarette dispensing device, wherein all said devices, in which each device includes at least one drum, are arranged to form a drum course; a drive element structured and arranged to drive at least some of the drums of said drum course in positional synchronization with the transport of the rod-shaped tobacco products; a drum unit composed of at least one drum, which is not one of said at least some drums, and a bearing and control flange; at least one separate additional drive element structured and arranged to drive said at least one drum; and a drive unit composed of said separate drive element and said drum unit.

2. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein the rod-shaped tobacco products comprise a rod-shaped tobacco product with a filter.

3. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein the rod-shaped tobacco product with a filter comprises filter cigarette.

4. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said separate additional drive comprises a plurality of additional drives, and each drum of said drum course, with a bearing and control flange, forms a drum unit, and wherein each additional drive is associated with a respective drum unit of said drum course to form independent drive units.

5. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said separate additional drive element and said drum unit have a common through-shaft.

6. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5, wherein said common through-shaft forms a common drive and a drum shaft and includes a receptacle for said drum.

7. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5, wherein said common through-shaft is double-mounted within the bearing and control flange.

8. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5, wherein said drive element is arranged on said common through-shaft in a region of a free end of said shaft.

9. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5, wherein said common through-shaft is cantilever-mounted on a side facing towards said drive element.

10. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5, wherein said common through-shaft is cantilever-mounted at an end of said drive element.

11. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said separate drive element comprises is a servo motor.

12. The apparatus in accordance with claim 11, wherein said servo motor comprises a rotor, a stator, and a shaft encoder.

13. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said drive element is shielded by a housing.

14. The apparatus in accordance with claim 13, wherein said housing is smaller in its external dimensions than an opening within a partition wall of said apparatus.

15. The apparatus in accordance with claim 13, wherein said housing has a substantially rectangular profile.

16. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1, further comprising a common control system coupled to all of said drive elements.

17. The apparatus in accordance with claim 16, wherein said control system comprises an integrated single-turn absolute value device.

18. A drive unit for a rod shaped product producing apparatus, comprising: a drum unit composed of a bearing and control flange; and at least one drive element coupled to said drum unit.

19. The drive unit in accordance with claim 18, further comprising a shaft extending through said bearing and control flange and into said at least one drive element.

20. The drive unit in accordance with claim 18, wherein said at least one drive element comprises a stator, a rotor, and a shaft encoder.

21. The drive unit in accordance with claim 18, wherein said drum unit further comprises a drum mounted on said bearing and control flange.

22. A rod-shaped tobacco product production apparatus comprising the drive unit in accordance with claim 18.

23. The rod-shaped tobacco product production apparatus in accordance with claim 22, further comprising a plurality of drums, wherein said plurality of drums are arranged to form a drum course, and one of said plurality of drums is coupled to said bearing and control shaft as part of said drum unit.

24. The rod-shaped tobacco product production apparatus in accordance with claim 23, wherein each drum forms part of a separate drum unit coupled to a respective drive unit.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. ยง 119 of European Patent Application No. 03 09 0209.2 filed Jul. 10, 2003, the disclosure of which is expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is concerned with an apparatus for making rod-shaped tobacco products with a filter, in particular filter cigarettes, essentially including a tobacco stick delivery device, a filter delivery device, a covering paper delivery device, a cigarette making device, a cigarette testing device and a cigarette dispensing device. All the devices have a plurality of drums to form a drum course which can be driven by a drive element in positional synchronization with transport of the rod-shaped tobacco products within the apparatus.

2. Discussion of Background Information

Apparatuses of this kind are used in the field of the tobacco industry for making filter cigarettes, filter cigarillos, etc., and are known as filter-attaching machines. Known apparatuses have a central drive element. For driving all the drums in positional synchronization within the apparatus, usually a mechanical gear mechanism is used. In other known apparatuses, each drum is assigned a drive, whereby drive and drum in each case form a separate unit, which are connected to each other by a clutch device or the like. Also known are apparatuses in which the drive is an integral part of the drum itself. All apparatuses, however, have the drawback that they are very complex in construction and therefore expensive to make. This is caused, in particular, by the use of a gear mechanism or clutches. The necessity of a gear mechanism or clutches leads, furthermore, to a long installation length of the drive element as well as to increased noise generation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention provides an apparatus which is easy to handle and cost-efficient to manufacture, and which guarantees reliable operation and at the same time allows a compact design.

According to the invention, an apparatus of the kind mentioned hereinbefore includes at least one drum of the drum course that can be driven with a separate, additional drive element, such that the separate drive element together with a drum unit composed of a drum as well as a bearing and control flange forms a drive unit. Due to this construction, the requirements of an integrated drive solution and a conventional direct drive solution, which at first glance are contradictory, are fulfilled. Due to the construction of the apparatus according to the invention, a compact drive solution for direct driving of the drums, which guarantees reliable operation, is proposed. Due to the integrated concept of designing the drive element and the drum unit separately from each other and yet as a unit, firstly a very low-maintenance and assembly/dismounting-friendly apparatus, and secondly a very compact apparatus is provided.

Preferably, each drum of the drum course is assigned a separate drive element, which together with the drum unit in each case forms an independent drive unit. As a result, in a particularly economical manner a durable and low-maintenance apparatus is proposed. Due to the direct driving of all the drums, a considerable reduction of noise is further achieved. Also, cleaning as well as adjustment and alignment of the drum are made easier by manual rotation capacity. Also, the direct driving of all the drums in the manner according to the invention allows a selective change of division of the drums.

In a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the drive element and the drum unit have a common through-shaft, as a result of which clutches for connecting drive element and drum unit can be dispensed with. Furthermore, a three-point bearing which is usually necessary is superfluous, as only two bearings have to be provided for the shaft.

Advantageously, the drive element is shielded by a housing, such that the housing is smaller in its external dimensions than an opening within a partition wall of the apparatus, and has a substantially rectangular profile cross-section. Thus, a particularly compact and assembly-friendly design is achieved, because firstly forward release of the drive unit, that is, in the direction of the control side, is possible, and secondly a high packing density of the drums is achieved. The packing density of the drums can therefore be increased, as the rectangular profile shape allows the use of small flanges.

The present invention is directed to an apparatus for making rod-shaped tobacco products with a filter. The apparatus includes a tobacco stick delivery device, a filter delivery device, a covering paper delivery device, a cigarette making device, a cigarette testing device, and a cigarette dispensing device. All the devices, in which each device includes at least one drum, are arranged to form a drum course. A drive element is structured and arranged to drive at least some of the drums of the drum course in positional synchronization with the transport of the rod-shaped tobacco products, and a drum unit is composed of at least one drum, which is not one of the at least some drums, and a bearing and control flange. At least one separate additional drive element is structured and arranged to drive the at least one drum, and a drive unit is composed of the separate drive element and the drum unit.

In accordance with a feature of the invention, the rod-shaped tobacco products can include a rod-shaped tobacco product with a filter.

According to another feature of the invention, the rod-shaped tobacco product with a filter can include filter cigarettes.

Further, the separate additional drive may include a plurality of additional drives, and each drum of the drum course, with a bearing and control flange, can form a drum unit. Each additional drive may be associated with a respective drum unit of the drum course to form independent drive units.

According to still another feature of the present invention, the separate additional drive element and the drum unit can have a common through-shaft. The common through-shaft may form a common drive and a drum shaft and includes a receptacle for the drum. Further, the common through-shaft can be double-mounted within the bearing and control flange. The drive element may be arranged on the common through-shaft in a region of a free end of the shaft. Moreover, the common through-shaft can be cantilever-mounted on a side facing towards the drive element. The common through-shaft can be cantilever-mounted at an end of the drive element.

In accordance with a further feature of the instant invention, the separate drive element can be is a servo motor, and the servo motor may include a rotor, a stator, and a shaft encoder.

The drive element can be shielded by a housing, and the housing may be smaller in its external dimensions than an opening within a partition wall of the apparatus. The housing can have a substantially rectangular profile.

The apparatus can further include a common control system coupled to all of the drive elements. The control system may include an integrated single-turn absolute value device.

The instant invention is directed to a drive unit for a rod shaped product producing apparatus. The drive unit includes a drum unit composed of a bearing and control flange and at least one drive element coupled to the drum unit.

According to a feature of the present invention, a shaft can extend through the bearing and control flange and into the at least one drive element.

Further, the at least one drive element can include a stator, a rotor, and a shaft encoder.

According to another feature of the invention, the drum unit can further include a drum mounted on the bearing and control flange.

The invention is directed to a rod-shaped tobacco product production apparatus that includes the above-discussed drive unit.

In accordance with still yet another feature of the present invention, the apparatus can further include a plurality of drums, such that the plurality of drums are arranged to form a drum course, and one of the plurality of drums is coupled to the bearing and control shaft as part of the drum unit. Further, each drum can form part of a separate drum unit coupled to a respective drive unit.

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 front view of an apparatus for making filter cigarettes;

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a drive unit consisting of drive element and drum unit;

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the drive unit according to FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a sectional view along section A-A of the drive unit according to FIG. 3.

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.

The apparatus described below is used for making rod-shaped tobacco products, in particular for making filter cigarettes.

The apparatus 10 described in FIG. 1, which is constructed as a filter-attaching machine, has different functional units, namely, essentially a tobacco stick delivery device 11, a filter delivery device 12, a covering paper delivery device 13, a cigarette making device 14, a cigarette testing device 15 and a cigarette dispensing device 16. All the above-mentioned devices 11 to 16 have a plurality of drums 17 to form a so-called drum course 18. The drums 17 are arranged adjacent to each other, preferably parallel and substantially tangentially one beside the other, in such a way that they are operatively connected to each other.

All drums 17 can be driven synchronously by a drive system. Moreover, while not illustrated, several drums 17 can be driven by means of a common drive, and at least one of the drums 17 can have a separate, additional drive element 19. Preferably, however, each drum 17 of the drum course 18 is assigned its own drive element 19. All the drive element 19 are designed as servo motors for forming a synchronous machine.

Below, a single drive element 19 is described by way of example with the aid of FIG. 4.

The drive element 19 is composed of conventional components, such as e.g. a rotor 20, a stator 21 and a shaft encoder 22. The components 20 to 22 of the drive element 19 are arranged within a housing 23 which has a substantially rectangular cross-section. The shaft encoder 22 and the stator 21 are attached firmly but releasably to the housing 23. The rotor 20 is arranged on a shaft 24. The shaft 24 is the common shaft for the drive element 19 and a drum unit 27 composed of bearing and control flange 25 and drum 17. In other words, the shaft 24 is a combined drive and drum shaft. The shaft 24 is mounted within the hollow, namely tubular-formed bearing and control flange 25, via conventional ball bearings 28, 29. Other types of bearing can also be used.

The two ball bearings 28, 29 are arranged at the two opposite free ends 30, 31 of the bearing and control flange 25. The shaft 24 has, at its free end 31, a receptacle 40 for the drum 17. The receptacle 40 can be attached to the shaft 24 in one piece, or can also be releasably attached to the shaft 24 as a separate component. At the free end 30 of the bearing and control flange 25 facing towards the drive element 19, the shaft 24 projects out of the bearing and control flange 25 and extends into the drive element 19. The rotor 20 is arranged in the region of the cantilever-mounted end 32 of the shaft 24. The housing 23 is releasably attached to the bearing and control flange 25, so that the drive element 19 and the drum unit 27 form a common drive unit 33. The drive unit 33 is releasably attached to a partition wall 34 of the apparatus 10, whereby the bearing and control flange 25 is positioned on the front side 35 of the apparatus 10 and the drive element 19 is positioned on the rear side 36. The partition wall 34 has an opening 37 for this. The opening 37 is preferably designed as a bore, whereby the diameter of the bore is slightly larger than the external dimensions of the drive element 19 or housing 23. In other words, the whole drive unit 33 can be assembled and dismounted from the front side 35 by the fact that fastening bolts 38 are loosened and the drive unit 33 as a whole is removable.

The common shaft 24 of drive element 19 and drum unit 27 is double-mounted in the region of the bearing and control flange 25 and is extended to the rear side 36 of the apparatus 10, that is, into the interior of the machine, without the extended end 32 of the shaft 24 being mounted again. For this reason the shaft 24 is of such rigid construction that the rotor 20 positioned on the end 32 does not strike the stator 21. The shaft encoder 22 is arranged on the housing 23 behind the end 32 of the shaft 24, so that exchange of the shaft encoder 22 can easily be done without dismantling the drive element 19. Due to the rigid shaft 24, on the one hand, and dispensing with clutches, on the other hand, a maximum torsional rigidity is achieved, which in turn leads to particularly high control performance, and hence to high operational and process reliability.

All the drive element 19 are connected to a common control system for synchronous actuation. The control system has an integrated single-turn absolute value device, as a result of which the position of rotor 20 and drum 17 can always be determined.

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 here in 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.