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1. WO2020141301 - APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING A ROD OF AEROSOL-GENERATING MATERIAL

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. Apparatus for producing a rod of aerosol-generating material, the apparatus comprising:

a first feed device adapted to supply a first web of aerosol-generating material to a processing unit;

a second feed device adapted to supply a second web of aerosol-generating material; and

a web changeover unit arranged to change supply of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit from the first web of aerosol-generating material to the second web of aerosol-generating material;

wherein the web changeover unit is configured to position a leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to a trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material upstream of the processing unit during changeover from the first web of aerosol-generating material to the second web of aerosol-generating material.

2. The apparatus of claim l, wherein the web changeover unit is configured to position the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material to abut the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material.

3. The apparatus of claim l, wherein the web changeover unit is configured to position the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material relative the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material such that a space is defined between the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material and the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the space is less than 20mm, preferably less than 10mm, more preferably less than 5mm.

5. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the web changeover unit is configured to position the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material without overlap between the first web of aerosol-generating material and the second web of aerosol-generating material.

6. The apparatus of any of claims l to 5, wherein the web changeover unit does not attach the second web of aerosol-generating material to the first web of aerosol generating material.

7. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 6, further comprising a support arranged to carry the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit.

8. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 7, wherein the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material and the trailing edge of the second web of aerosol generating material are complementarily shaped.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material and the trailing edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material are diagonal relative to the direction of travel of the first web leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material and the second web of aerosol-generating material.

10. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 9, further comprising a cutting unit arranged to cut the first web of aerosol-generating material to define the trailing edge.

11. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 9, further comprising a cutting unit arranged to cut the second web of aerosol-generating material to define the leading edge.

12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the cutting unit is further arranged to cut the second web of aerosol-generating material to define the leading edge.

13. The apparatus of any of claims 10 to 12, wherein the cutting unit comprises a blade that extends diagonally across the web of aerosol-generating material.

14. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 13, wherein the web changeover unit comprises a nip drive roller configured to drive the second web of aerosol-generating material.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the web changeover unit further comprises a sensor for detecting the positions of the leading edge of the second web of aerosol generating material and the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising a controller configured to control the nip drive roller to position the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material.

17. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 16, further comprising a further web feed unit for providing a further web of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit, the further web of aerosol-generating material being arranged to overlap with the web of aerosol-generating material in the processing unit.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the further web feed unit comprises:

a first feed device adapted to supply a first web of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit;

a second feed device adapted to supply a second web of aerosol-generating material; and

a web changeover unit arranged to change supply of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit from the first web to the second web;

wherein the web changeover unit is configured to position a leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to a trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material upstream of the processing unit.

19. The apparatus of claim 17 or claim 18, further comprising an embossing unit configured to emboss the second web of aerosol-generating material to the further web of aerosol-generating material.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the embossing unit is configured to emboss a portion of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to the leading edge to the further web of aerosol-generating material.

21. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 20, wherein the process unit is a slitting unit for slitting the web of aerosol-generating material into a plurality of strands of aerosol-generating material.

22. The apparatus of claim 21, further comprising a conveyor configured to group together the strands of aerosol-generating material.

23. The apparatus of claim 21 or claim 22, further comprising a suction conveyor arranged to receive the strands of aerosol-generating material.

24. The apparatus of any of claims 21 to 23, further comprising a garniture configured to wrap the strands of aerosol-generating material to form a continuous rod.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a cutter arranged to cut the continuous rod into discrete rod segments.

26. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 25, wherein the aerosol-generating material comprises tobacco.

27. The apparatus of claim 26, wherein the aerosol-generating material comprises reconstituted tobacco sheet.

28. A method of producing a rod of aerosol-generating material, the method comprising:

supplying a first web of aerosol-generating material to a processing unit;

supplying a second web of aerosol-generating material; and

changing the supply of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit from the first web of aerosol-generating material to the second web of aerosol-generating material;

wherein the step of changing the supply of aerosol-generating material comprises positioning a leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to a trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material upstream of the processing unit.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein the method comprises positioning the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material to abut the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material.

30. The method of claim 28, wherein the method comprises positioning the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material relative the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material such that a space is defined between the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material and the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material.

31. The method of claim 30, wherein the space is less than 20mm, preferably less than 10mm, more preferably less than 5mm.

32. The method of any of claims 28 to 31, wherein the method comprises positioning the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material adjacent to the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material without overlap between the first web of aerosol-generating material and the second web of aerosol generating material.

33. The method of any of claims 28 to 31, wherein the step of changing the supply of aerosol-generating material comprises does not comprise attaching the second web of aerosol-generating material to the first web of aerosol-generating material.

34. The method of any of claims 28 to 33, further comprising cutting the first web of aerosol-generating material to define a trailing edge.

35. The method of any of claims 28 to 34, further comprising cutting the second web of aerosol-generating material to define a leading edge.

36. The method of claim 35, wherein the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol-generating material and the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material are cut to have complementary shapes.

37. The method of claim 36, wherein the trailing edge of the first web of aerosol generating material and the leading edge of the second web of aerosol-generating material are diagonal.

38. The method of any of claims 28 to 37, further comprising supplying a further web of aerosol-generating material to the processing unit.

39ยท The method of claim 38, further comprising embossing the second web of aerosol-generating material to the further web of aerosol-generating material.

40. The method of any of claims 28 to 39, wherein the process unit is a slitting unit, and the method further comprises slitting the web of aerosol-generating material into a plurality of strands of aerosol-generating material.

41. The method of claim 40, further comprising grouping together the strands of aerosol-generating material.

42. The method of claim 40 or claim 41, further comprising conveying the strands of aerosol-generating material on a suction conveyor.

43. The method of any of claims 40 to 42, further comprising wrapping the strands of aerosol-generating material to form a continuous rod.

44. The method of claim 43, further comprising cutting the continuous rod into discrete rod segments.

45. The method of any of claims 28 to 44, wherein the aerosol-generating material comprises tobacco.

46. The method of claim 45, wherein the aerosol-generating material comprises reconstituted tobacco sheet.