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1. WO2020109211 - METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING VAPOUR GENERATING PRODUCTS

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. A method of manufacturing a vapour generating product (1), the method comprising:

(i) positioning non-liquid vapour generating material (12) in a space (15) defined by one or more walls (18) configured to prevent movement of the vapour generating material (12) by more than 2mm in a direction perpendicular to an axial direction of the vapour generating material (12), the one or more walls (18) extending substantially in the axial direction of the vapour generating material (12);

(ii) aligning an axis of a rigid insertor (28) with the axial direction of the vapour generating material (12); and

(iii) inserting the rigid insertor (28) into the vapour generating material (12) from a first end (16a) of the vapour generating material (12).

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein step (i) comprises moving at least one of the walls (18) to surround the vapour generating material (12).

3. A method according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the rigid insertor (28) comprises an inductively heatable susceptor (30).

4. A method according to any preceding claim, wherein the vapour generating material (12) is in the form of a cylindrical rod (16).

5. A method according to any preceding claim, wherein the non-liquid vapour generating material comprises a vapour generating rod (16) and step (i) comprises forming a package comprising a plurality of the vapour generating rods (16).

6. A method according to any preceding claim, wherein step (ii) is performed by detecting the position of at least one of the rigid insertor (28) or the vapour generating material (12).

7. A method according to any preceding claim, further comprising:

releasing the vapour generating material (12) from the space (15) defined by the one or more walls (18).

8. A method according to any preceding claim, further comprising:

supporting a second end (16b) of the vapour generating material (12) during step (iii) to prevent movement of the vapour generating material (12).

9. A method according to any preceding claim, wherein step (iii) comprises the steps of:

partially inserting the rigid insertor (28) into the vapour generating material (12) from the first end (16a) whilst holding the rigid insertor (28); and

releasing the rigid insertor (28) and pushing an end of the rigid insertor (28) to fully insert the rigid insertor (28) into the vapour generating material (12).

10. A method according to any preceding claim, wherein step (iii) comprises pushing and embedding the rigid insertor (28) into the vapour generating material (12), and preferably during said embedding step a surface of the vapour generating material (12) into which the rigid insertor (28) is inserted is not pushed.

11. An apparatus (26, 40, 46, 52) for manufacturing a vapour generating product (1), the apparatus comprising:

a surrounding unit (14) configured to surround non- liquid vapour generating material (12);

a holding unit (32) configured to hold a rigid insertor (28); and

a moving unit (33) configured to move the non-liquid vapour generating material (12) surrounded by the surrounding unit (14) and the rigid insertor (28) held by the holding unit (32) relative to each other substantially in line with the axial direction of the vapour generating material (12) to insert the rigid insertor (28) into the vapour generating material (12) from a first end (16a) of the vapour generating material (12);

wherein the surrounding unit (14) comprises one or more walls (18) defining a space (15) for the vapour generating material (12), the one or more walls (18) being

configured to prevent movement of the vapour generating material (12) by more than 2mm in a direction perpendicular to an axial direction of the vapour generating material (12).

12. An apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the holding unit (32) includes a contact element (36) to contact a side of the rigid insertor (28).

13. An apparatus according to claim 11 or claim 12, wherein the moving unit (33) includes a pushing element (34) to push an end of the rigid insertor (28).

14. An apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the pushing element (34) includes a contact area (44) having a shape which corresponds to the shape of an end of the rigid insertor (28) or part of the shape of an end of the rigid insertor (28).

15. An apparatus according to any of claims 11 to 14, wherein the surrounding unit (14) includes a movable wall (78, 80).

16. An apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the movable wall (78, 80) is movable between a first position to allow positioning of the vapour generating material (12) in the space (15) and a second position to prevent release of the vapour generating material (12) from the space (15).

17. An apparatus according to any of claims 11 to 14, wherein the surrounding unit (14) includes a continuous transfer belt (56, 58).

18. An apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the continuous transfer belt (56, 58) includes spaced contact elements (56a, 58a) configured to contact the vapour generating material (12) and which form regions (60) therebetween configured to accommodate the vapour generating material (12).

19. An apparatus according to claim 17 or claim 18, wherein the surrounding unit (14) includes two continuous transfer belts (56, 58), each transfer belt (56, 58) includes spaced contact elements (56a, 58a) configured to contact the vapour generating material (12) and which form regions (60) therebetween configured to accommodate the vapour generating material (12), each of the spaced contact elements (56a, 58a) has a summit and the summits of the spaced contact elements (56a, 58a) of each transfer belt (56, 58) are arranged to face each other.

20. An apparatus according to any of claims 17 to 19, wherein the holding unit (32) is configured to move synchronously with the or each continuous transfer belt (56, 58).