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Патент USA US3098582

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’July 23, 1963
w. w. K. QUT-:STER
Filed Dec. 8, 1959
2 sheets-Sheet i
äp #mi
July 23, 1963METHOD
w . K. QUEs'rER
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Filed DEG. 8, 1959
United States Patent O l-CC
Patented July 23, 1963
ously fed to the processing or fabricating units as cor
responds to the actual consumption of the processing or
fabricating units which are in operation at any one time.
The distribution of the total quantity is not effected by
subdividing the same into parallel streams, but only by
Wilhelm Walter Karl Quester, Cologne, Germany,
assigner to Willi. Quester, Cologne-Sulz, Germany, a
Filed Dec. 8, 1959, Ser. No. 858,277
Claims priority, application Germany Dec. 10, 1958
2 Claims. (Cl. 214-152)
portions delivered at a time sequence. The supply of
these portions is effected at such time intervals that a
partial stream without intervals is formed which corre
sponds to the current requirement of the individual con
10 sumer units. The requirement of the consumer units may
undergo a constant variation due to failure or other
This invention relates to a method and an apparatus
for continuously feeding material to a plurality of proc
essing or fabricating means at a rate which is dependent
upon the consumption, and more particularly to a method
these fluctuations. The quantity of material effectively
The process of the invention is adapted to
and apparatus for fully automatically feeding cut tobacco
to any number of cigarette making machines,
time to the quantity actually required, i.e. consumed.
The delivery of excess quantities is avoided.
supplied to the processing units corresponds at any one
`Many attempts were made in the past to solve the
The process of the invention is preferably accom
problem of automatically feeding cigarette making ma
plished by the apparatus shown in the accompanying
chines with cut tobacco. As a result of these attempts,
drawings, wherein,
mechanically operating apparatus was developed which, 20
FIG. l is a side elevational view of the overall unit;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the unit shown in FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view on an enlarged scale
taken on line 3_3 of FIG. l.
in dependence upon the consumption of each single ma
chine, autornatioally fed the tobacco in portions.
In case of pneumatically operating feeders, it was usual
to use semi-automatic systems with the feeding of to
The apparatus for carrying out the process comprises
bacco to the pneumatic units being effected and con 25
a supply means which, in the present case, is in the form
trolled manually, fIn pursuing the efforts to mechanize
of three bins 1, 2 and 3 having the bottoms constructed
the feeding of tobacco, various methods and devices were
as conveyor belts that communicate with the conveyor
belts 4, 5 and 6 which lead to a delivery device consist
30 Ving of a plurality of conveyor belts 7, 8, 9 and -10 ar
distributing the same.
ranged one after the other in the direction of movement.
If only one disc is provided, the stream of tobacco
Between these individual conveyor belts 8, 9 and 10 are
coming from the cut tobacco stock bin can be adjusted to
suggested and tried, of which the rotary feeding disc pro
vides a maximum of careful treatment of the tobacco in
provided ilap valves 11, 12, 13 and as shown in FIGS. l
the particular quantity required. However, the simul
and 3. These flap valves, when in one position, bridge
taneous feeding of several discs from a common stock
bin necessitates a consumption-controlled distribution 35 the distance between the adjacent conveyor belts. In the
other position of the ilap valves, the material is permitted
system since the number of machines to be fed may vary
to drop onto the conveyor belts l14, 15 and ‘16 leading to
the consumer units which, in the present embodiment, are
represented as the feed discs 17, ’18 and 19. iIn order that
of a method and an apparatus which permit a consump 40 the material be supplied in uniform thickness to the con
veyor belts 14, 15 and 16, a swing funnel 20 shown in
tion-controlled distribution to any number of consumer
detail in FIG. 3 and pivotally mounted as at 20a, may be
units. It is characterized in that the material is pa‘ssed
provided in each space below the -ñap valves 11, 12, 13,
in succession to several processing or fabricating units at
said funnel being constantly moved to and fro while the
the rate per unit time required for continuous feeding,
but with the sizes of portions corresponding to the feed 45 material is deposited on the conveyor belts 14, 15 and 16.
The last conveyor belt of the feeding unit, e.g. the belt
ing cycle, the feeding being effected in the time intervals
10, is followed by a further conveyor Kbelt 21 which may
predetermined for said units. In case yof incomplete
be supplemented by a further conveyor belt 22 which
acceptance of the material, the same is passed to accumu
returns the material to one of the first conveyor belts 4,
lator means during the residual time remaining for the
respective Vunit. While traveling from the point of de 50 5 or 6. ‘In the present case, the return of material is
effected to the conveyor belt v6v. The conveyor belts 21,
livery from the continuous feed stream to the processing
22, etc. used for returning excess quantities simultane
or fabricating unit, the allocated sizes of portions are
ously represent accumulator means for any excess quan;
converted into a continuous delivery stream of material,
it being possible for the supply of the material to be 55 tities which are not accepted at the points of delivery,
i.e. the receiving belts 1,4, '15, 1‘6. Character 23 is a
effected either from the stock bins or from the accumu
photocell which controls the level of the accumulator belt
lator means. '
22 `tempoiarily receiving excess quantities.
In accordance with the invention, the conveying means
’within short periods of time at any disc, eg. by machine
breakdown, replacement of paper, and the like.
-The object of this invention is a further improvement
leading to the processing or fabricating units arranged in
The embodiment shown relates to tihe feeding of cut
series one after the other comprises successive conveyor 60 _tobacco to cigarette making machines, but may also be
used in other fields. The apparatus in accordance with
belts between which, at the distribution points for the ma
the invention is «designed in such a way that the quanti-ty
terial to the units, intermediary members are interposed
of cut tobacco exactly corresponding Ito the actual con
which may be adjusted as bridging members between the
sumption is fed at any one time to each of the feeding
conveyor belts and for distribution of material to the
individual consumer units. The intermediary members
'discs 17, 1S, 19. This means that the quantity withdrawn
are preferably designed as flap valveswhich, in one posi
tion, pass the material from the higher end of the pre
ceding conveyor belt to the lower receiving end of the
followingconveyor belt or, in the other position, to the
processing or fabricating unit.
It is achieved by means of the method and the ap
paratus of the invention that so much tobacco is continu
vfrom ‘the supply bins 1, 2, 3 must correspond tothe maxi
Vmum possible quantity in order to be able to meet any
requirement encountered.
Normally, an excess quantity will have to be expected
70 which is not accepted by the feeding discs. 'Ilhis excess
quantity has to be kept in store for renewed delivery or
to be returned into the supply unit. The supply unit 1,
2, 3, in the present embodiment, is designed in such a way
tha-t it is either filled or discharged. Simultaneous filling
and discharge is not provided. For ‘this reason, the ex
cess quantities, in accordance with theinvention, lare
the feed discs continuously. The solution to the prob
lem provides an intermediary conveyor belt 14, 15 or
116 effecting said transformation.
The quantities of tobacco delivered by the supply belts
7, 8 and 9‘ via a reversing ñap valve 11, 12 or 13 are
uniformly distributed on an intermediary conveyor belt
passed to a-n independent intermediate storage unit and
returned into the process cycle at a suitable time.
14, 15 or 16 by a swing funnel 20. The feed velocity
of the intermediary belt is constant. Thus, the thickness
of «the formed layer is directly proportional to the dura
(a) Formation of tobacco portions in relation to» the
actual consumption of the consumer unit, i.e. the feeding 10 tion of delivery since -the length and width of layer re
main constant (provided that -the delivered quantity is
constant), The deposition on the feed disc is continu
(b) »Converting the portions into continuous tobacco
ous. Since the layer depth corresponds to the duration
streams for uninterrupted feeding to the discs.
of delivery and the latter is dependent upon the number
(c) ‘Intermediate storage of the excess quantities._
With such an arrangement, the following partial prob
lems lilave to be solved.
of consuming machines, the supply of tobacco always
corresponds exactly to the quantity -being consumed.
Regarding lche feature (a), i.e. formation of portions,
the yassumption is made that each of the cigarette making
machines, while in operation, requires a constant quantity
Regarding the intermediate storage of the excess quan
tities in accordance with partial problem (c), it is to be
of out tobacco per minute. T‘hus, it is only necessary to
expected in practice that excess quantities which are nec
determine for each of the feeding discs the number of
running machin-es in proportion to the total number of 20 essary in view of a supply ensured in any case, must be
machines connected. A counter equipped with a relay
The storage belts 21, 22 provided for receiving these
combination exactly furnishes this value.
quantities are uniformly fill-ed with the excess partial
quantities until their capacity is exhausted. They then
25 interrupt the further supply from the containers 1, 2, 3
Table 17-6 machines
Table -1‘8-6 machines
Table 19-6 machines
and, at the same moment, start lto supply the feed discs
until their contents is consumed. They then switch back
to the supply containers 1, 2, 3 and the cycle starts again.
Installed is a total of 18 machines
Running on table 17 are 4 machines
On table 18--61 machines
The Iapparatus as a whole ‘operates as follows:
The tobaccos 'are passed from »the supply containers 1,
2 or 3 to the conveyor belts 4, 5, y6 and then to the
On table i19-5 machines
conveyor belt 7. The flap valves 11, 12 and 13 are in
Presently running is a total of 15 machines
idle position so that the further travel of the vtobacco over
the conveyor belts 8, 9, 10 and to the >storage 21, 22 is
Thus, for example, the fraction of the total quantity of
tobacco to Ibe delivered in 1 minute would be
35 free. All of the belts S, 9, 10 and 21 are uniformly
ñlled with tobacco. The conveyor belt 22, normally
4/18 to table 17
empty, acting as the storage belt is ready to receive to
6/18 to table 18\
FAS to table 19
The lfeeding cycle starts with ilap valve 111 swinging
while 'ÖÁS would have to be stored in the intermediate 40 back, i.e. to the left in the drawing plane i.e. FIG. 1,
It may be assumed for this example that the delivery
cycle is 1 minute=60 seconds, i.e. that after expiration
of this cycle the delivery of the portion will star-t again
with table 17.
Thus, with all of the 18 machines in full operation
tobacco would be supplied,
To table 17 from the 1st to the 20th second,
To table 18 from the 21st -to the 40th second,
To table 19 from the 41st to the 60th second,
and again
To table 17 from .the 61st to the 80th second,
To table 18 from the 81st to the 100th second,
To table 19 from the 101st to the 120th second,
and so on.
However, Is-ince some of the machines are not run
thereby depositing tobacco» lon the intermediary conveyor
belt 14. The conveyor belts 8, 9, `10; and 21 stop while
being laden with tobacco. The storage 22 likewise is
idle. Upon expiration of the feed time, the flap valve
45 11 swings back into the initial position and the conveyor
belts 8, 9, 10, and 21 starrt running. If the flap valve
11 is reversed before the expiration of the maximum pos
sible time, the tobacco is ñrs-t stored in the storage Ibelt
22. If the maximum was reached, »and with the flap
50 valve 11 moving back, the next ñap valve 1-2 is turned into
the position permitting the disc 18 to be fed, and the
conveyor «belts 9, 10, and 21 stop running until the ñap
valve 12 is returned into its initial position. The same
sequence of events occurs with the following flap valve
55 13. Upon completion of the overall cycle, it is started
again with the first llap valve 1‘1 and the Áfeed disc 17
and so on.
_ Thus, tobacco is only passed into the storage unit 22
ning, tobacco is delivered
if, due .to non-utilization of the maximum feed period
To table 17 (4 machines) from the 1st to the 13th second, 60 provided ifor a feed disc, there are existing excess quan
To table 18 (6 machines) from the 21st to the 40th sec
To table 19 (5 machines) from the 41st to the 57th sec
tities which .cannot be immediately passed to one of the
consumer units 17, 18, 19, etc. If the storage unit 22
is ñlled, which is supervised by a photocell 23 or the
like, which also transmits the signal for its discharge,
and the excess quantities are stored in the 14th to 20th 65 the supply bins l1, 2, 3 and the conveyor belts 4, 5 are
stopped. The storagel belt 22 together with the belts
second and 58th to 60th second.
With this method of time-controlled feeding, i.e. con
6 and 7 starts supplying tobacco to the consumer units
sumption controlled feeding proportional to the number
of machines running, the quantity of tobacco corre
I1'7, 1-8, 19.
With tobacco being supplied «from the storage belt 22,
sponding exactly to the consumed quantity is delivered 70 which suddenly stops delivering tobacco as its movement
to each of the tables.
stops, which is in `contrast to the delivery from the supply
Regarding the transformation of the portions- into con
bins 1, 2, 3, only that quantity is delivered which is con
tinuous streamsin accordance with partial problem (b)
sumed \by the consumer units 17, 18, Á19' sor that a re
the portions formed in dependence upon the consump
peated storage of excess quantities is eliminated. The
tion by the method described above are to be supplied to 75 result hereof is that .the conveyor belts stop moving in
processing units in relation to the actual demand require
ments of the material processing units during said given
period of time continuously accumulating excess mate
advance movement on this belt ceases. Instead oi this,
rial not accepted -by said material processing units during
the conveyance from the supply bins 1, 2, 3 and the
,the given period of time and making it available to said
movement of the belts ‘4, 5 is started again so that the
material processing units during a subsequent time inter
normal cycle takes place again.
val and uniformly directing an accumulated supply of
`By stopping the belts 8, 9, 10, 21 and 22 While feed
excess material during said subsequent time interval to
ing the preceding consumer unit 17 with tobacco With
said processing units prior »to and independently of sup
drawn from the supply bins 1, 2, 3, or by stopping the
belts 4, 5, and 8, 9, .10, and 21 when delivering tobacco 10 plying said processing units from said bulk source.
2. 'lîhe method of claim l; including the step of di
from the storage belt `2,2, it is achieved that the stream
the initial position of the ñap valve and run only in op
erating position. If the storage belt 22 is empty, the
of tobacco on these conveyor belts is not interrupted and
recting said .bulk material source lin series with the re
the full quantity is offered at any time if required by the
cycled excess material, and directing the supply of mate
rial to said plurality of processing units in respectively
parallel paths 4from said supply of material.
consumer units 17, I1S, and 19.
The tobacco will be removed from the tray 17 by the
suction device 24 to processing or yfabricating means espe
cially cigarette making machines.
What is claimed is:
1. A method for the controlled continuous feeding of
bulk material to a plurality of material processing units 20
comprising the steps of continuously supplying bulk ma
terial from a bulk material source lat a rate at least equal
to the combined maximum requirements of the plurality
of material processing units over a given period of time
determined by the maximum consumption of said process 25
ing units, delivering bulk material intermittently and
sequentially and in a constant direction to the material
References Cited in the tile of this patent
Gates _______________ __ Feb. 12, 1889
Hitchcock ___________ __ Aug. 28,
Adams _____________ __ Nov. 14,
=Hurter ______________ __ July 3l,
-Ogorzaly _____________ __ Oct. 14,
Kay _________________ __ May 6,
Powischill et al. _______ __ Jan. 13,
Werner _____________ __ Mar. 10,
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