Title:
Apparatus for Inserting Tobacco Into a Cigarette Tube
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention concerns an apparatus for inserting tobacco into an empty cigarette tube. The apparatus comprises a sleeve (15) designed to be inserted into the empty cigarette tube (63); means for retaining the empty cigarette tube (63) in place; a fixed blade (19) and a movable blade (18) facing each other and defining a uniform cavity to receive the tobacco. The movable blade (18) is adapted to be moved towards the fixed blade (19) to compress and cut the tobacco so as to form a uniform tobacco rod. The apparatus further comprises a rod (7) adapted to be inserted into the cavity defined by the fixed (19) and movable (18) blades to push the tobacco rod into the empty cigarette tube (63).



Inventors:
Bajouet, Jean-pierre (Lachenaie, CA)
Application Number:
11/910090
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
03/31/2006
Assignee:
TOBACCO SPECIALTY PRODUCTS (TSP) INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24C5/39
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090165807Butt Cutter - Cigarette ExtinguisherJuly, 2009Doroff
20090050164Supporting Device for the Suspension Treatment of the Tobacco HabitFebruary, 2009Faccin
20070261707Tobacco pouch productNovember, 2007Winterson et al.
20090126745Emulation Aerosol SuckerMay, 2009Hon
20070137661OPTICAL MONITORING OF PRODUCTS OF THE TOBACCO-PROCESSING INDUSTRYJune, 2007Siems
20090320863ELECTRICALLY HEATED SMOKING SYSTEMDecember, 2009Fernando et al.
20090293895Snuff CompositionDecember, 2009Axelsson et al.
20090120450Smoking Articles Having Reduced Ignition Proclivity CharacteristicsMay, 2009Herve et al.
20080156335Apparatus for Inserting Tobacco Into a Cigarette TubeJuly, 2008Bajouet
20050257797Combination cigar cutting device comprising a plurality of cutters and writing instrumentNovember, 2005Taylor
20070102013Electrical smoking systemMay, 2007Adams et al.



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHU HOANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lavery, De Billy, LLP (Montreal, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for inserting tobacco into an empty cigarette tube, comprising: a casing (15) for inserting the empty cigarette tube (63); holding means for maintaining the empty cigarette tube (63) in place; a fixed blade (19) and a movable blade (18) facing each other and defining a uniform cavity for receiving the tobacco, the movable blade (18) being adapted to approach the fixed blade (19) to compress and cut the tobacco in order to form an uniform tobacco rod; and a rod (7) adapted to be inserted in the cavity defined by the fixed (19) and movable (18) blades to push the tobacco rod into the empty cigarette tube (63).

2. The apparatus according to the claim 1, wherein the holding means include a tightening mechanism (1) for maintaining the cigarette tube (63) tight against the casing (15) until the tobacco rod is pushed into the tube of cigarette by the rod (7).

3. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the movable blade (18) is fixed to a slide (31) mounted on a guiding support (26), the movable blade (18) being operatively connected to a lever (16), so that a displacement of the lever (16) in a first direction approaches the movable blade (18) to the fixed blade (19) and a displacement of the lever (16) in a second direction moves away the movable blade (18) from the fixed blade (19).

4. The apparatus according to claim 3, further comprising an electric motor (5) operatively connected to the rod (7) for automatically pushing the rod (7) against the tobacco rod.

5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the engine (5) is connected to a first switch (35) for activating the engine (5), the switch (35) being activated by contact with the slide (31) when moving the lever (16) towards the first position.

6. The apparatus according to the claim 1, wherein the movable blade (18) has a cutting portion of straight shape.

7. The apparatus according to the claim 6, wherein the fixed blade (19) has a cutting portion of straight shape.

8. The apparatus according to the claim 6, wherein the fixed blade (19) has a cutting portion of concave shape.

9. The apparatus according to the claim 6, wherein the fixed blade (19) has a cutting portion of convex shape.

10. The apparatus according to the claim 1, wherein the knives (18,19) define a round cavity and the traction rod is square or round.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a National Entry Application of PCT application no PCT/CA2006/000488 filed on Mar. 31, 2006 which itself claims priority on Canadian patent application no. 2,502,150, filed on Mar. 31, 2005. All documents above are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improvement to an apparatus for inserting tobacco into one cigarette tube at a time.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Several apparatuses to roll a cigarette or to insert tobacco into an empty cigarette tube are known in the art. For example, the U.S. Pat. No. 4,534,367 (NEWSOME) discloses a portable apparatus which allows to insert tobacco into an empty cigarette tube using a rod that a user pushes manually. A chamber containing the tobacco is closed using doors which compress the tobacco a little before it is pushed into the cigarette tube. However, the tobacco is not compressed in a uniform way and the tobacco rod which is formed can deform the cigarette tube or even tear it.

There is therefore a need in this field, for an apparatus used for inserting tobacco in a tube of cigarette in a relatively simple way without deforming or tearing it.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an apparatus for inserting tobacco in an empty cigarette tube, comprising:

a casing for insertion of the empty cigarette tube;

holding means for maintaining the empty cigarette tube in place;

a fixed blade and a movable blade facing each other and defining a uniform cavity for receiving the tobacco, the movable blade being adapted to approach the fixed blade to compress and cut the tobacco in order to form an uniform tobacco rod; and

a rod adapted to be inserted in the cavity defined by the fixed and movable blades to push the tobacco rod into the empty cigarette tube.

The invention as well as its many advantages will be better understood by the following nonrestrictive description of preferred embodiments of the invention with reference to the appended figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus for inserting tobacco into a cigarette tube, without its lid, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, with its lid, in an initial operating position, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2, in a final operating position, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4 and 10 are side views of the apparatus in FIG. 1, in the operating positions corresponding respectively to FIGS. 2 and 3.

FIGS. 5 and 11 are front views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, in the operating positions corresponding respectively to FIGS. 2 and 3.

FIGS. 6 and 12 are rear views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, in the operating positions corresponding respectively to FIGS. 2 and 3.

FIGS. 7 and 13 are sectional views taken from line B-B shown in FIGS. 4 and 10.

FIGS. 8 and 14 are partial views of the part identified by circle C shown in FIGS. 7 and 13.

FIGS. 9 and 15 are partial views of the part identified by circle D shown in FIGS. 4 and 10.

FIG. 16 is a partial and perspective view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, in an initial operating position shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 17 is a front view of the part of the apparatus shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 is a side view of the part of the apparatus shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 19 is a sectional view taken from line B-B shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 20 is a partial view of the part identified by circle C shown in FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 is a sectional view taken from line A-A shown in FIG. 18.

FIG. 22 is a partial view of a position identified by circle D shown in FIG. 21.

FIGS. 23 and 29 are partial and perspective views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, in the operating positions corresponding respectively to FIGS. 2 and 3;

FIGS. 24 and 30 are front view of the part of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 23 and 29.

FIGS. 25 and 31 are perspective views of the part of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 23 and 29.

FIGS. 26 and 32 are sectional views taken from line B-B shown in FIGS. 28 and 34.

FIGS. 27 and 33 are partial top views of the part of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 23 and 29.

FIGS. 28 and 34 are partial side views of the part of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 27 and 33.

FIG. 35 is a general, perspective and exploded view of components, including the lid, of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 36 and 39 are front views of the different pairs of knives that may be used in an apparatus according to the invention.

FIGS. 40 to 44 are sectional views of the different types of alignments that may be used, with a slide in an apparatus according to the invention.

FIGS. 45 and 46 are side views of two possible traction mechanisms of the rod used to push the tobacco.

FIGS. 47 to 49 are side views of three driving mechanisms of the rod used to push the tobacco.

FIGS. 50 and 51 are perspective views of an entirely manual apparatus, in its initial and final operating positions respectively, according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 52 is a perspective view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 51, but with the cigarette removed.

FIGS. 53 and 54 are perspective views of the rear and front of the apparatus shown in FIG. 50, but without the lid.

FIGS. 55 and 56 are side and front views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 50.

FIGS. 57 and 58 are perspective front and rear views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 51, but without the lid.

FIGS. 59 and 62 are rear perspective and partially exploded views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 53.

FIGS. 60 and 61 are front perspective and partially exploded views of the apparatus shown in FIG. 54.

INDEX OF NUMBERS

    • 1. Tightening segment of the tube;
    • 2. Lever to activate the slide mechanism;
    • 3. Electric connector;
    • 4. Load connector;
    • 5. DC engine with reduction gears;
    • 6. Electric switch;
    • 7. Tobacco pushing rod;
    • 8. Traction roller;
    • 9. Thumb screw;
    • 10. Thumb screw;
    • 11. Ball bearing;
    • 12. Engine support;
    • 13. 12 Volts AC adaptor;
    • 14. Pin;
    • 15. Casing for insertion of the cigarette tube;
    • 16. Moving handle of slide 31;
    • 17. Part used for the tightening adjustment of the tube;
    • 18. Movable blade for the cutting of the tobacco;
    • 19. Fixed blade for the cutting of the tobacco;
    • 20. Needle bearing;
    • 21. Pin supporting the lever;
    • 22. Support and rotation pin of handle 16;
    • 23. Thumb screw;
    • 24. Balls used for the alignment and displacement of slide 31;
    • 25. Support of the electric switches 6 and alignment of rod 7;
    • 26. Guiding support 31;
    • 27. Base for mechanical and electric components;
    • 28. Protection lid;
    • 29. 12 volts battery;
    • 30. Thumb screw;
    • 31. Slide;
    • 32. Stability cushions;
    • 33. Compression support;
    • 34. Plain washer;
    • 35. Switch with 6 poles;
    • 36. On/Off Switch;
    • 37. Tension spring;
    • 38. Compression support;
    • 39. Thumb screw;
    • 40. Thumb screw;
    • 41. Plain washer;
    • 42. Thumb screw;
    • 43. Plain washer;
    • 44. Thumb screw;
    • 45. Shoulder screw;
    • 46. Plain washer;
    • 47. Nut;
    • 48. Thumb screw;
    • 63. Cigarette tube.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an apparatus for inserting tobacco in a cigarette tube, but without it's lid, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus is preferably of personal application and is semi-automatic. The apparatus comprises a base 27 for supporting modules, namely the mechanical and electrical components that principally govern its operation. The apparatus comprises a guiding support 26 which is used as support for the pin 22 of actuating arm 16 and guide for the slide 31 on which the tightening of the tube is built-in. The support of slide 26 is also used as a guide for the tobacco pushing rod 7. Rod 7 may be of a square or round shape, rigid or flexible.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is shown the apparatus equipped with a lid 28 and its storage reservoir used to receive a limited quantity of tobacco for the manufacture of some cigarettes, and being also used for electrical and mechanical safety.

FIG. 4 shows the apparatus in an initial operating position, in which the actuating arm 16 is vertically oriented and where one introduces the empty cigarette tube on the casing 15. It is also seen that rod 7, which is used for pushing tobacco, is in a position of maximal extension directed towards the outside of the apparatus.

FIG. 10 shows the apparatus in a final operating position, in which the actuating arm 16 is horizontally oriented and where the cigarette tube has been filled with tobacco. It is also seen that rod 7, which is used to push the tobacco, was moved towards the interior of the apparatus and was used to fill the tube with tobacco thus forming the cigarette.

Displacement of the Slide on its Guiding Base

Referring to FIGS. 16 to 22, there is shown the slide 31 and its guiding support 26. Slide 31 is designed to easily fit into guiding support 26. The latter is fixed at the base 27, which provides a perfect parallel alignment. The displacement of slide 31 is carried out by a system of four balls 24, which ensures a very smooth movement. The right angle grooves in the slide 31 are designed to receive the balls 24. This same angle is repeated on guiding support 26 in order to also receive the balls 24 of the slide 31, thus ensuring stability and movement of the slide 31 along an extremely precise path. In this way, the horizontal movement due to its parallelism and the fit of the balls 24 on its guiding support 26 ensures a stability that allows knives 18 and 19 to perfectly approach each other to cut the tobacco. Moreover, slide 31 is used as a base (bottom) for the insertion of the tobacco into its cavity, which is limited by knives 18 and 19 having an asymmetric radius. The tobacco moves with the slide 31, which makes it new in its kind. This design makes its operation of great accuracy and its easy displacement unique.

Referring to FIGS. 40 to 44, the is shown various types of alignments of the slide 31 that may be used. FIG. 40 shows round grooves on the base. FIG. 41 shows an example without balls with angled grooves. FIG. 42 shows grooves that are round or beveled on the side of the slide. FIG. 43 shows a ball or a needle bearing on each side of the slide. FIG. 44 shows a sliding assembled on the slide.

Insertion of the Tobacco—Movement of the Knives

Referring to FIGS. 23 to 28, there is shown that knives 18 and 19 are in an open position. The insertion of the tobacco between knives 18 and 19 is deposited manually. Knives 18 and 19 limit the filling cavity. Movable blade 18, which is fixed on slide 31 is straight. The fixed angled blade 19 is screwed on its guiding support 26. Blade 19 is designed for a better cutting of the tobacco. The tobacco bottom base rests on slide 31, as better illustrated in FIGS. 25 and 26. The actuating arm 16 is in a vertical position. Its slide 31 is in a filling position. The movable blade 18 is moved away from the fixed blade 19. These knives are of a radius and a suitable length for the manufacturing of regular to “king size” cigarettes. These knives by their angles are unique.

Referring to FIGS. 29 to 34, one shows that knives 18 and 19 are in a closed position. The movable blade 18, which is screwed on the slide 31, approached blade 19 screwed on its guiding support in a compressed position. Actuating arm 16 was moved vertically thus activating slide 31. Knives 18 and 19 being brought closer together have cut the tobacco and have given it by their radius a circular and uniform rod, as illustrated in FIGS. 31 and 32. The tobacco has been compressed and is ready for its injection into casing 15 to fill the tube.

Referring to FIGS. 23 to 34, there is shown that slide 31 is used as the tobacco bottom base. It exceeds by its bottom the radius of blade 19. It is used for the movable blade 18 to move towards the fixed blade 19. Therefore, it is used for the displacement of the tobacco. This design largely facilitates the cutting and the formation of the tobacco rod.

Automated Mechanism

Referring to FIGS. 10 to 15, there is shown a representation of rod 7 and its automated assembly. Before the insertion of the tobacco in the tube, the actuating arm 16 is lowered, the ridge of slide 31 touches and activates the polarity switches 35 “micro-switch” which provides the contact to activate the engine 5 and thereby also the roller 8 which drives the square rod 7 to push the tobacco into the tube. A switch “micro-switch” 6 will determine the travel stop of the push rod 7. An extension spring 37 makes it possible to choose the necessary pressure of traction roller 8. Roller 8 is mounted on the engine 5 which is screwed on its plate 12 fixed at the base 27. This automated configuration is new and unique. This rod 7 of square form, is really different from other designs, because it does not enter the tube so as to fill it with tobacco. To compress the rod 7 on the traction roller 8 a ball bearing 11 is incorporated between two arms 33 and 38 made mobile by mounting the shoulder screw 45 screwed on base 12 of engine 5. Thus, the ball bearing 11 may compress the rod 7 on traction roller 8. The compression remains present no matter what the movement of the rod is.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 9, there is shown a representation of rod 7 and its assembly after the rise of the actuating arm 16 following the insertion of the tobacco into the tube. The ridge of slide 31 has released the polarity switch 35 “micro-switch” which changed the polarity of the engine 5. Thereby, this returns the traction roller 8 and rod 7. The latter returns to its initial position. One of the switches 6 “micro-switch” will determine its travel stop. The adjustment of pressure of the traction roller 8 remains the same as explained with reference to FIGS. 10 to 15.

Referring to FIGS. 45 and 46, there is shown two possible mechanisms for driving the rod 7. FIG. 45 shows the use of a small fixed or movable roller for compressing the rod 7 and being juxtaposed to a larger fixed or movable roller for compressing the rod 7. FIG. 46 shows the use of two identical rollers of compression on rod 7.

Referring to FIGS. 47 to 49, there is shown three driving mechanisms that can be used to move rod 7 used for pushing tobacco. FIG. 47 shows a rod 7 moving on an axis of a roller which is decentralized compared to its rotation. FIG. 48 shows a rod 7 moving by movement of a rotation key. FIG. 49 shows a rod 7 moving using an endless screw.

Tightening of the Tube

Referring to FIGS. 11 to 14, there is shown a representation of the tightening mechanism 1 of the tube and its operation. There is shown that the actuating arm 16 is in a closed position so as to keep the tube on casing 15. This position will remain closed throughout the filling of the tube. A piece made of flexible and compressible material 1 and a metallic piece 17 is used to adjust the pressure of the tube on casing 15. These pieces are incorporated and fixed on the slide 31. The tightening segment 1 allows to hold the tube on approximately half of the circumference of casing 15. A screw 10 makes it possible to adjust the position of the segment on the tube.

Referring to FIGS. 5 to 8, there is shown a representation of the tightening tube and its operation. The actuating arm 16 is in open position for the insertion of the tube on casing 15. This position will remain open throughout the filling of the tobacco. Slide 31 is withdrawn and by doing so, release of the tightening segment and the metal piece 17 which is fixed directly on slide 31. The choice of the form and dimensions of the tightening segment 1 may vary.

The Operation of the Apparatus and its Differences

For the filling function of the tube, the system according to the present invention is very different from the other machines on the market. The majority of the others use a half round open rod, which enters the tube with the tobacco, which sometimes causes problems since there is often tobacco missing near the filter and their rod often enters too deeply into the tube, which causes the filter to separate from the paper and moreover the cigarette becomes oval because of the rod which enters the tube.

The process according to the present invention is very different. According to a preferred embodiment of present invention, one employs a square rod 7, which consists in pushing the tobacco being compressed by the two knives into the tube and the rod does not enter the tube. It only pushes the compressed tobacco until the tube is entirely filled and then the tube will remove itself. The filling action is done with ease and without manual effort for pushing the tobacco into the tube because this is accomplished automatically using an electric motor 5. The power source of the 12 volt engine is either generated by a rechargeable battery or directly by a DC voltage transformer.

Contrary to the other machines that need a certain manual force to push the tobacco into the tube, they must hold the machine with one hand and push the tobacco with the other hand, which is not always easy. Moreover, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, one uses two knives. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, one uses a fixed angled blade 19 and a movable right angle blade 18 mounted on its ball bearing slide. Actuating these two knives results in cutting the tobacco with ease, and to compress it into a tobacco rod which will be pushed thereafter by the rod into the tube.

Referring to FIGS. 36 to 39, there is shown the various shapes of the pairs of knives at the cutting point of the tobacco which may be used in an apparatus according to the invention: right-right, right-angle, right-concave, right-convex. Of course, other shapes may be used depending on the applications.

ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

The apparatus shown on FIG. 1 is personalized, semi-automatic and was drawn and designed to facilitate its function and its handling. Its lid 28 screwed to its base 27 covers all mechanisms and all electric functions, which makes the handling of this apparatus secure. Moreover, because of its shape, it may eventually be used for storing a certain quantity of tobacco in order to make a few cigarette tubes.

Its actuating arm 16 being vertically displaceable towards the center of the machine ensures a very good stability. Its perpendicular movement with respect to it prevents the machine from moving during the cutting, the compression of the tobacco and the release of the actuating arm 16.

The slide allows an easy displacement and a perfect alignment on its three axes.

This new blade concept is used to better cut the tobacco. These knives 18,19 when approaching each other also provide, by the movement of slide 31 used as a bottom base for the tobacco, a tobacco rod that is perfectly round and uniform.

The tightening of the tube is new because the compression is maintained even after the fall of the cigarette and injection of the tobacco. It ensures a well filled, uniform and round tube. Tightening allows to firmly retain the tube on the casing preventing any paper tearing to be possible.

The tobacco pushing rod does not insert itself into the tube during the filling.

Its automated traction roller makes it possible to easily move rod 7 through knives 18 and 19 and casing 15 allowing the injection of the tobacco into the tube. This action whose inertia is within the machine, does not require any manual maintenance of the machine. This machine may be used safely and easily, not requiring any maintenance during filling, cutting, compression and injection of the tobacco into the tube. Moreover, it may be taken not matter where since a rechargeable battery ensures its autonomous automated operation.

Its safety, its operating mode, its output and its ease makes for a distinctive machine. No adjustment is necessary for the filling of the tube for the sizes regular to “king size”. Moreover, this machine does not require any additional lubricant on the mechanical components.

Manual Apparatus

Referring to FIG. 50 to 62, there is shown another model of apparatus similar to the first one shown in FIG. 1, but which is not provided with an engine 5 to move rod 7 automatically. Rod 7 must thus be pushed manually.

Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of preferred embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise embodiments and that several modifications may be effected without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Moreover, the present application incorporates by reference all that is disclosed in the Canadian application number 2,502,150 (BAJOUET).