For decades, Düsen-Schlick has been supplying systems manufacturers and cigarette producers with process-optimised atomisation technology. Moistening and flavouring are core processes in the primary stage of tobacco processing. These are ultimately responsible for the flavour and quality of the final product. Properly measuring flavouring additives and uniformly moistening leaves and ribs ensures optimum cutting and drying properties. This also creates benefits for the downstream (secondary) stage of cigarette production. The addition of water is necessary because unprocessed tobacco has a water content of approximately 12% and as such is very brittle. Water is added to the tobacco leaves (Orient, Virginia or Burley) using nozzle technology in conditioning drums or on conveyor belts. A water content of approximately 18% to 22% has proven expedient for the application of flavouring in the next processing stage.
Every variety of tobacco has different absorption properties, which are influenced by the drying process after harvesting. This means that an appropriate spray preparation with fine droplets is necessary due to the sometimes poor absorptive capacity of tobacco leaves. This process is known as ‘loading’. It is undesirable for the tobacco to agglomerate and stick together during this process.
The different properties of the individual types of casing and/or flavouring mean that the nozzle system must be capable of reacting flexibly to changes in viscosity and flow rate and must ensure a high level of process reliability in the continuous flow of production.
The type of nozzle used for casing, moistening and flavouring determines the process result. Increasing automation makes it essential for production processes to be increasingly problem-free and economical.
Normally, multiple-substance nozzles are used for this process. In the atomisation process, the drop collective must be applied homogeneously and finely enough to avoid over-moistened clusters.
In the past, too little importance was placed on the precise design of the nozzles in many production processes. However, purely nozzle-related parameters like the necessary flow rate and the fineness of the atomisation are not enough these days to determine the nozzle parameters. The user has very specific requirements for the atomisation nozzles: they must have a hygienic design, i.e. contain a low number of dead spaces and threads and have clean passages and surfaces.
Debris build-up or bearding in the front area of the nozzle may have an impact on the spray or may even block the nozzle. The spray with small, evenly reproducible drop size must be set flexibly to a particular drop size, in order to prevent excess moisture on the surface due to atomisation being too coarse.
Further features include the option of altering the width and height of the spray jet formation (ellipse) and even distribution of liquid across the spray width.
Based on these requirements, Schlick multiple-substance nozzles have been developed which provide high operating security. In fact, it is often not even possible to intervene during the process with the result that a poor spraying pattern or a blockage of the nozzle due to caking may lead to the loss of the entire batch.
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