Regarding airlocks, tobacco company would rather switch than fight
After battling high-maintenance slide-gate and vaned rotary airlocks for pneumatic conveyors and dust collectors, a tobacco company switches to vaneless rotor airlocks.
American Tobacco's Reidsville, N.C., plant receives 1,000-pound bales of raw tobacco used to make cigarettes. During production, different tobacco types are conveyed together in specific weight proportions to achieve a desired blend. The blended tobacco is then sprayed into a drum during flavoring. A cutting machine presses the flavored tobacco into a loose cake and cuts it into fine shreds using rotary knives. After final blending and flavoring, pneumatic conveyors operating at between 58 and 59 inches water column of vacuum transfer the tobacco to cigarette-making machines.