Machines

3,300 cuts per minute - and accurate to a fraction of a millimetre

Production

Now the processed, thoroughly mixed tobacco leaves finally go into cutting procedure.

With the breathtaking speed and accuracy that only the most modern, electronically controlled machinery can achieve, the leaves are cut.

The machine's rapidly rotating blades produce up to 3,300 cuts per minute, cutting the leaves into shreds precisely 0.65 to 0.80 millimetres in width - a size that provides optimum smoking pleasure in cigarettes.

Before the cut tobacco can be rolled into cigarettes, its moisture content again has to be brought up to the desired level. Finally, the chopped ribs are added to the mix and blending is complete. The daily production quantity is divided into sealed containers according to the blend for each brand. The containers, located on conveyor belts or in computer-controlled storage, then wait for a signal from the cigarette production’s computer terminal.

The product takes its final shape

Production

The computer calls up the required quantities of prepared blends from the store and conveys them via pipelines to the cigarette machines, which are the heart of the factory.

Cigarette machines unite the items that constitute a cigarette: tobacco, paper, and, with filter-cigarettes, the mouth-piece strip and the filter itself. First the paper unrolls. The paper on a single roll, or bobbin, is four to six kilometres long, and is sufficient for 15 minutes of production or less with rapid machines. As the roll unwinds, a tiny printer adds the brand logo to the outside at lightning speed, while another device adds an adhesive strip to the edge of the paper with great precision.

The tobacco, pre-shaped into a long thin cylinder, is now pushed onto the running paper conveyor, and paper and tobacco together pass into the forming chamber where the tobacco is rolled into the paper and the overlapping seam is glued down. A heated rail dries the glued seam and smoothes the paper like an iron to prevent creasing. A long rod now emerges from the forming chamber and comes under the razor-sharp blades which cut it to the predetermined length for the particular brand of cigarettes.

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