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1. WO2020157458 - PROCÉDÉ ET APPAREIL DE FABRICATION D'UNE UNITÉ CONSOMMABLE POUR UN DISPOSITIF D'INHALATION, ET UNITÉ CONSOMMABLE POUR UN DISPOSITIF D'INHALATION

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Claims

1. Apparatus for providing a dose of aerosolisable material to a container of a consumable unit for use with an inhalation device, the apparatus comprising:

a hopper for receiving aerosolisable material, the hopper comprising an opening in a lower end of the hopper; and

a doser disposed below the hopper, the doser comprising a dosing cavity;

wherein the doser is movable between a first position in which the dosing cavity is aligned with the opening such that aerosolisable material is movable from the hopper into the dosing cavity, and a second position in which the dosing cavity is aligned with a container such that the aerosolisable material is movable from the dosing cavity into the container.

2. The apparatus of claim l, further comprising an alignment member disposed below the doser, the alignment member comprising an opening that is aligned with the dosing cavity when the doser is in the second position.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the alignment member is arranged to block a lower side of the dosing cavity when the doser is in the first position.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the opening in the alignment member is offset relative to the opening in the hopper.

5. The apparatus of any of claims 2 to 4, wherein the doser and the alignment member are planar.

6. The apparatus of any of claims 2 to 5, wherein the dosing cavity is a through-hole in the doser.

7. The apparatus of any preceding claim, further comprising an actuator arranged to move the doser between the first position and the second position.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the actuator is arranged to move the doser linearly.

9. The apparatus of any preceding claim, further comprising a movable shelf configured to support one of the doser or the container, and wherein the movable shelf is movable such that the doser or the container is movable relative to the other of the doser or the container.

10. The apparatus of any claim 9, wherein the doser and the alignment member are mounted on the movable shelf, the movable shelf being movable between a disengaged position in which the alignment member is spaced from the container and an engaged position in which the alignment member engages the container.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the alignment member comprises a recess arranged to engage the container when the movable shelf is in the engaged position.

12. The apparatus of any preceding claim, wherein the hopper comprises a plurality of openings, and wherein the doser comprises a plurality of dosing cavities for providing aerosolisable material to a plurality of containers simultaneously.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the apparatus further comprises a machine tray support arranged to support a machine tray that is able to hold a plurality of containers.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising an inspection unit configured to inspect the consumable units in the machine tray.

15. The apparatus of any preceding claim, wherein the volume of the dosing cavity is equal to the volume of aerosolisable material to be provided to a container.

16. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 13, wherein the volume of the dosing cavity is a fraction of the volume of aerosolisable material to be provided to a container, such that the doser is moved a plurality of times between the first and second positions to provide a dose of aerosolisable material to a container.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the volume of the dosing cavity is a half of the volume of aerosolisable material to be provided to a container, or wherein the volume of the dosing cavity is a third of the volume of aerosolisable material to be provided to a container.

18. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 17, wherein the aerosolisable material comprises tobacco.

19. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 18, wherein the aerosolisable material comprises a particulate material.

20. A method of providing a dose of aerosolisable material to a container of a consumable unit for use with an inhalation device, the method comprising:

receiving aerosolisable material in a hopper, the hopper comprising an opening in a lower end of the hopper; and

providing a dose of aerosolisable material to the container;

wherein providing a dose of aerosolisable material to the container comprises moving a doser between a first position in which a dosing cavity of the doser is aligned with the opening such that aerosolisable material moves from the hopper into the dosing cavity, and a second position in which the dosing cavity is aligned with a container such that the aerosolisable material moves into the container.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein providing a dose of aerosolisable material to the container comprises providing a dose of aerosolisable material to a plurality of containers simultaneously.

22. The method of claim 20 or claim 21, wherein the doser is moved once between the first position and the second position to provide a dose of aerosolisable material to the container.

23. The method of claim 20 or claim 21, wherein the doser is moved two or more times between the first position and the second position to provide a dose of aerosolisable material to the container.

24. The method of any of claims 20 to 23, wherein the aerosolisable material comprises tobacco.

25. The method of any of claims 20 to 24, wherein the aerosolisable material comprises a particulate material.

26. A consumable unit manufactured using the apparatus of any of claims 1 to 19.

27. A consumable unit for use with an inhalation device, the consumable unit comprising a container provided with a dose of aerosolisable material according to the method of any of claims 20 to 25.