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Improvements in the manufacture of smoking articles

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242965D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-03
Document File: 24 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present document relates to a Fire Prevention System for the Cutting Head of a smoking article maker machine, wherein a VESTA® System is used to detect early onset of fire in a cutting head covered by a cutting head cover in a filter maker machine. Further, it relates to a Bobbin Splicing Kit for Cigarette Packing Machines, wherein a kit has been developed in order to reduce the time needed to splice different bobbins in a packing machine. The costs of the kit are extremely reduced when compared to automatic splicing kits. Moreover, the present document refers to an apparatus for introducing objects into a smoking article. Apparatuses for introducing objects into a smoking article are known in the art. They are generally associated with a filter maker machine in order to create for example a filter including an object. The introduced objects may be beads or capsules which are to be inserted into the filter material during manufacture of the filter component of the smoking article. The present apparatus is adapted to introduce “big” objects, such as objects having a diameter of 6 mm or above, in the smoking articles. In addition, it refers to an Unwinding Module for making machines, in order to allow the insertion of a continuous thread into a filter, which thread may be imbued with flavor or color. In these machines, bobbins provided with continuous thread need often be replaced, which is performed preferably such that no interruption in thread delivery to the filter making occurs.

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Page 01 of 24

Fire Prevention System for the Cutting Head of a smoking article maker machine 

In the tobacco industry, during the manufacture of the filters and/or smoking articles, the semi‐finished filter  or  smoking  article  commonly  needs  to  be  cut  in  pieces  before  the  final  product  can  be  realized.  For  this  purpose, each filter machine or combining machine used for the production of filters and/or smoking articles  includes a cutting head for performing the cutting.  

For safety reasons, in order to protect the operator, the blade of the cutting head is protected by a dedicated  cover. 

An example of such a cutting head with a closed cover protecting and hiding the blade is shown in figure 1.   

FIGURE 1 

During the cutting process, there is an intrinsic risk of fire ignition. The fire can be caused for example by the  combined presence of inflammable items in the cutting head, such as paper, tow, charcoal, etc., together with  the occasional formation of sparks causing the ignition. The sparks can be generated by the blades ‐ commonly  circular knifes - during the cutting of elements in the cutting head.  

On  standard  machines,  often  there  is  no  fire  or  smoke  detector  installed  in  the  machine  itself.  The  safety  precautions include commonly the presence of a fire extinguisher and of a safety routine. In case of smoke or  flames coming out from the cutting head cover, the machine operator activates the safety procedure and uses  the fire extinguisher: for example, the safety procedure may include the steps of stopping the machine and  giving an alarm so that the working area can be evacuated and/or the fire extinguisher unit can be warned.  

This generally implemented safety procedure is however not optimal, due to the following drawbacks: 

Cover for the cutting head 

cutting head

 


Page 02 of 24

• Safety concerns: a minor risk of injury for operators and more generally for people who are standing in  proximity of the machine (logistics, maintenance, first aid unit…) still exists, if a fire flares up in the  cutting head; 

• Machine damages: if a fire takes place, it damages the cutting head and the cutting head cover. The  cutting head includes both mechanical and electric components (cables, motors) which require a lot of  working time in order to be repaired; 

• Economic impact: if a fire takes place, the costs caused by it are not negligible. There are costs due to  production  loss  (stop  of  the  machine),  for  the  spare  parts  needed  to  repair  the  machine,  for  the ...