At ITM, we are committed to develop Next Generation Products to serve the needs in the tobacco industry.
As a results, we are proud to introduce a new machine: The Solaris Capsule in Cavity (CinC), a filter combiner designed to meet the current and future needs of tobacco manufacturers.
Our new machine can process filters of different materials at speeds up to 500m/min, while ensuring maximum quality for both combustibles and heated products.
Solaris Capsule in Cavity is also featured in a Tobacco Journal International article (JTI), written by journalist Jeremy Booth:
Innovative filter machinery are a valueadding solution that is no longer limited to combustible tobacco products. The growth of non-combustible markets around the world requires more innovations and new developments in order to address changing consumer preferences.
Exceptional taste experiences and strong visual aspects are what consumers are looking for and ITM has developed the Solaris CinC in order to address these expectations. The machine unit is the extension of the well known, tried and tested, modular ITM filter combiner. It has been designed to combine filters with cavites, and to fill them with different types of capsules. It can be implemented as an extension to existing Solaris machines, or as a complete filter combining solution.
What can the CinC do?
The head of ITM’s Filter Technology Division, Bartosz Cieslikowski, told TJI that the CinC is the fastest technology available on the market. Detailed tests have shown that the machine can easily process filters of different materials at speeds of up to 500m/min. The CinC’s modular design allows for a simple transition from the production of conventional cigarettes to that of heated tobacco products.
But ITM knows that nothing counts more than quality. “In the production process, the quality of capsules is a very important element,” Cieslikowski stated. “It can directly impact the value of the final product, the amount of product rejections or – worst of all – increase consumer complaint ratios.
Being aware of this potential problem, ITM introduced special systems on the machine to be able to maintain the best condition of the capsule throughout the process.” Cieslikowski said that the CinC’s cavity creation is precise, consistent and repeatable, and that final products are automatically checked by ITM’s Quality Monitoring System (MOMS3), which proofs each filter for cavity size, capsule presence and condition, while also guaranteeing constant and standardised production in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
Solaris Capsule in Cavity: How does it work?
Filter capsules are classified before they are fed into the hopper and this is done on a dedicated separator, which is also responsible for the rejection of those with specific defects. “Separator buffers are equipped with special sensors that control the level of filling, ensuring the proper quality of capsules,” Cieslikowski explained; adding that “a special alignment system, situated in front of the transfer drum, prevents the capsules from being crushed or damaged.”
According to the engineering team, acceptance tests completed at a customer’s factory proved that the CinC detects and rejects capsules with the most common manufacturing defects, such as those that are found to be externally round, those with sharp deformities, a shell on the capsule, those with a dry, crushed, empty, non sphericallyshaped or “fish eye”-shaped shell, and those with an air bubble inside.
Cieslikowski continued: “At the production stage, each capsule is gently inserted into its respective cavity based on a mechanical process without the use of compressed air, and in a fully controlled manner that prevents the cracking or deformation of the capsule. In addition, the Solaris CinC is equipped with a dedicated gluing system adapted to the capsule-in-cavity specifications, which keeps the capsule in the proper condition and eliminates the risk of moisture absorption.”
Advantages of Solaris Capsule in Cavity
According to the team, the advantages offered by the CinC extension are not only evident in terms of the finished combustible or non-combustible stick, but also through the machine’s efficiency and performance.
“This Solaris extension gives new possibilities in the production of capsulated filters,” Cieslikowski said. “The new filter design impacts the consumer’s senses through a variety of aromas, tastes and colours - it is easy to identify and eye-catching - and the variation of possibilities that can be achieved are dual, triple and quadruple filters with capsule and wrapped in either transparent or standard papers.”
The technology behind the CinC makes it easily adaptable to any product size, from King Size to Super Slims, using different filter combinations. Additionally, in terms of a Super Slim capsulated filter, the CinC allows for the insertion of larger capsule dimensions into the filter structure than ever before.
Implementing the CinC on the factory floor requires the mechanical and electrical adaptation of the machine and the installation of the capsule in cavity insertion module. Due to the modular nature of the machine, this process can be carried out in a relative short time.
A further advantage is the CinC’s ability to be converted for other specifications, such as producing other standard or more sophisticated filter specifications. In terms of changing over between combustible and non-combustible products, Cieslikowski said that this can be carried out efficiently by replacing and adjusting the individual machine elements accordingly:
“ITM experts, with their many years of experience and expertise of the tobacco industry, and extensive technological knowledge, can adapt the process in the most beneficial manner for the manufacturer,” he added.
Close collaboration with Industry partners
The first pillar that supported the development of the CinC was the rapid innovation and progress of the tobacco market. “In creating such a machine concept, we took into account the growth of heated tobacco products - in particular, we looked at the new characteristics of these products that increase their attractiveness to the end consumer,” Cieslikowski said.
He explained that this approach was particularly important in relation to the new EU regulations that are geared towards flavoured tobacco products, but also to consumer smoking preferences. “Exceptional taste experiences, combined with visual aspects, are at the top of the consumer’s wish list for their favorite brands. We wanted to support our clients in tobacco manufacturing by providing technology that will enable them to effectively respond to those market expectations.”
The second pillar, on which the CinC now firmly stands, was the need for new technologies and close cooperation between ITM and its customers. “Its development was carried out together with a tobacco products manufacturer, who was looking for distinctive attributes in the technology, such as high speed and product quality assurance,” Cieslikowski said, adding that close cooperation between the two companies had allowed the implementation of the relevant technological advancements that were necessary to meet the production requirements.
“Thanks to this approach, we also had the opportunity to take a closer look at the challenges faced by today’s tobacco manufacturers, and to develop the best solutions together.
The result is that CinC has successfully passed its acceptance tests: currently, the machine works in the factory at full capacity, producing the innovative product with the capsule for international markets. With an efficiency of 92 per cent, waste below 1.5 per cent, and speeds of up to 500m/min, these parameters prove that Solaris CinC is a good response to the current and future needs of the tobacco industry,” Cieslikowski concluded.