October 06 - 2011

ITM Atlas CC: the power of clove

International Tobacco Machinery Group, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of tobacco machinery, introduces a revolutionary machine for the kretek industry, the Atlas CC. Due to its guillotine-like cutting process, the Atlas CC is the first clove cutter to combine high throughput with a traditional, perfect cut. Moreover, the Atlas CC also leads to substantial savings in cloves. ITM Group will launch and present  the Atlas CC at their stand (F20) at the World Tobacco Asia 2010 exhibition, to be held in Jakarta between 27th- 29th of October.

Market demands and production technology

ITM developed the Atlas CC to accommodate an unfulfilled industry requirement by introducing a long awaited clove cutting machine that combines the perfect cut with speed and productivity. Up until now, clove machinery had to compromise between these two important demands. The Atlas CC however, cuts the cloves as gently as traditional craftsmen used to do, without losing productivity.

How does it work?

Following ITM’s simple design philosophy, the Atlas CC is like all other ITM equipment in that it is a modular machine that consists of three separate modules: feeding and orientation module, followed by compacting and cutting modules. The Atlas CC compacts the cloves in a horizontal position in a clove cake. Due to its vertical, guillotine-like cutting process, the knives cut the cloves with minimal pull outs. And because of the machine’s vertical cut and perfect clove cake density, the cloves do not get damaged.

All three modules can be approached separately for cleaning or maintenance. Moreover, due to its simple and effective principle, the Atlas CC is totally safe for users: all sharp or rotating parts are covered and due to several security and safety stops the machine automatically switches off for maintenance or cleaning. Besides that, the machine’s process areas are high off the ground and can therefore easily be cleaned. Currently no other system offers this level of sincere modularity, safety and productivity.

Gentle and Effective

With the unique structure of cloves in mind, ITM’s engineers have reduced the holding force in the mouthpiece by 50% compared to commonly used cutters. The guillotine-like cutting process also guarantees less pull outs than all other clove cutting machinery. These solutions lead to at least 5% clove saving in the production of cigarettes. And because of the reduction of eugenol loss, it doesn’t affect the flavour. Another huge advantage of this innovative cutting module is the extended life of the blades. Less wear of the blades is achieved by the method of cutting and the way in which grinding only takes place during the cutting process.

Precision and Flexibility

The Atlas CC is the advanced cutter that provides a precise control system of the knives. In addition to the advantages mentioned above, i.e. perfect cuts, less pull outs and extended life time of the blades, this unique solution also offers more flexibility during the production process. The advanced digitally coupled knife mechanism allows a cutting regime from 8 up to 16 knives and therefore provides an unprecedented flexibility in production. The unique double drive mechanism allows the user to easily switch the knives. The machine can run on 8 knives only, while the other knives remain idle, fitted on the drum. Switching from one active set of knives to another only takes about 5 minutes.

Clean and Safe

The Atlas CC is not only highly economical, it is also one of most maintenance friendly and safe clove cutting machines available. One of the main problems of regular clove cutting machines is the maintenance and the cleaning of the brass chains that run on other common cutting machines. These chains are extremely heavy (depending on the type of chain they can weigh between 70-100 KGs), and quite a few workmen are required to remove them from the machinery. Once the job is done, the chains need to be taken to a special cleaning room for an intense chemical treatment. This maintenance, during which the machine is out of order, needs to be done every 100-500 working hours, depending on the cloves, the conditioning process and the machine type.The Atlas CC however does not use brass chains. The Atlas CC is driven by special long wearing belts, which are extremely robust and made of FDA approved synthetic material. A whole belt only weighs between 8- 9 KGs and can, on a daily basis, easily be cleaned with a normal cleansing cloth. Only after 2000 working hours the belts need to be taken out for extended cleaning. This can be carried out by one single person on the spot and in just a few hours of time.

In short


• The Atlas CC leads to a 5% saving of cloves in cigarettes
• Vertical cuts with higher quality
• Less eugenol loss
• Less pull outs
• Easy cleaning
• High level of safety
• High productivity due to reduced maintenance time

Conclusion

ITM has a long history of producing tobacco equipment to fulfil its customers’ highest needs. The company’s openness to innovation and its intention to serve its customers in the best possible way have led to several new concepts in the cigarette market. The latest development is the Atlas CC, the best cutter on the market. That’s ITM: leading innovator with a passion to serve.

Technical data:

Production and cutting range 500 – 5.500 KGs/h
Standard cutting range 0.1 mm – 1.0 mm (other cutting range available upon request)

Knife Drum:         
Knife drum diameter 1.000 mm
Speed: 100 – 450 rpm
Maximum number of knives: 16
Knife advance controlled by PLC

Mouthpiece:
Width: 500 mm
Opening range: 65 – 110 mm
Holding force: 6-7kN

Power supply: 
Installed power: 48 kW
In production, approx. 22 kW (5.000 kg/h).