Much like the food industry, tobacco and tobacco products need to remain sanitary throughout the production process before they come into contact with customers. Since the products are designed to be ingested, eliminating the presence of potentially harmful bacteria at all points of contact, from handling to the rolling and packaging process, is critical. Molins (MPRD Ltd.) has been a leader in the tobacco industry for more than a century, known for offering the lowest cost and best quality. Prior to their partnership with Belt Technologies, they were in the market for an efficient and hygienic solution to transport raw tobacco into the cigarette production line. We rolled out a solution that has served them for decades.
Molins (MPRD Ltd.), a major supplier of machines, spares and related services to the tobacco industry. They have been a leader in the industry for more than a century, establishing a presence around the globe.
The number one cause for concern with tobacco production machinery is hygiene, with product efficiency as an important secondary factor. Molins found that the belts used in their machinery did not offer a tailored, hygienic solution capable of transporting tobacco at high speeds. At the time, traditional conveyor belts were made of linen, which could easily degrade and wear down, halting production and introducing contaminants into the production process. Molins required a conveyor that was both hygienic and capable of keeping the tobacco on the line, and turned to Belt Technologies for assistance.
We presented Molins with an array of perforated, stainless steel suction bands to be used in conjunction with vacuum conveyors. The holes in the recommended belts would allow the tobacco to be transported under vacuum, retaining it on the line. Some of the provided designs also had a textured surface, known as “burr,” which gripped the tobacco and further ensured none was lost during transport down the conveyor. This “gripper” belt was unique as it required steel with a softer temper to allow the belt to be easily manipulated, perforated and texturized with the burr surface. Molins was greatly impressed, especially with the hygienic benefits of the stainless steel conveyors. Unlike alternatives, PureSteel® conveyor belts are resistant to bacteria, easy to clean and compliant with even the strictest USDA requirements. Additionally, they don’t generate component friction and therefore do not need lubrication, reducing the amount of maintenance required and keeping the conveyor system clean.
We provided Molins with an array of stainless steel suction bands with 15 unique perforation patterns (some with burr, others without). This range of products accommodated the conveying of loose tobacco as well as the range of other tobacco products made by Molins. Today, Molins continues to use the solutions provided by Belt in a variety of high-speed cigarette production machine models, producing up to 5,000 filter tip items per minute. We continue to work on the spare parts market with Molins, and they have recently sold new machinery, incorporating our original belt design for use in the growing hemp cigarette industry.