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Title:
A METHOD FOR PRODUCING A PACKET FOR SMOKING ARTICLES AND PACKET OBTAINED BY THIS METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/082003
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a method for producing a packet (1) for smoking articles, comprising the steps of: a) providing a wrapping sheet (3) comprising at least one first layer of a fir st material (Ml); b) removing a portion of the wrapping sheet (3) in order to define a shaped profile; c) wrapping a group (2) of smoking articles with the wrapping sheet (3); d) arranging a containing frame (4) provided with at least one open zone around the wrapping sheet (3), in order to contain the group (2) of smoking articles and the wrapping sheet (3), forming a semi-finished unit (5), with the open zone of the frame (4) facing the shaped profile of the wrapping sheet (3); e) supplying a sheet (60) of a heat-sealable material provided with an opening (61); f) providing an adhesive label (7) comprising at least one first layer of the first material (Ml); g) attaching the adhesive label (7) onto the opening (61) of the sheet (60) of heat-sealable material; h) wrapping the semi-finished unit (5) with the sheet (60) of heat-sealable material, in such a way that the layer of first material (Ml) of the label (7) faces the open zone of the frame (4); i) sealing the sheet (60) of heat-sealable material, forming a barrier-like envelope (6).

Inventors:
POLLONI, Roberto (Via Battindarno 91, Bologna, I-40133, IT)
FEDERICI, Luca (Via Battindarno 91, Bologna, I-40133, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/057677
Publication Date:
May 02, 2019
Filing Date:
October 03, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
G.D S.P.A. (Via Battindarno 91, Bologna, I-40133, IT)
International Classes:
B65B19/02; B65D75/58; B65D77/20; B65D85/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016087828A12016-06-09
WO2015144757A12015-10-01
WO2015114019A12015-08-06
WO2017060736A12017-04-13
WO2017005655A12017-01-12
Foreign References:
DE102009034705A12011-01-27
DE102011119344A12013-04-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARCHITELLI, Mauro (Notaro & Antonielli d'Oulx S.r.l.Corso Vittorio Emanuele I, 6 Torino, I-10123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A method for producing a packet (1) for smoking articles, comprising the steps of:

a) providing a wrapping sheet (3) comprising at least one first layer of a fir st material (Ml);

b) removing a portion of the wrapping sheet (3) in order to define a shaped profile;

c) wrapping a group (2) of smoking articles with the wrapping sheet (3);

d) arranging a containing frame (4) provided with at least one open zone around the wrapping sheet (3), in order to contain the group (2) of smoking articles and the wrapping sheet (3), forming a semi-finished unit (5), with the open zone of the frame (4) facing the shaped profile of the wrapping sheet (3);

e) providing a sheet (60) of a heat-sealable material provided with an opening (61);

f) providing an adhesive label (7) comprising at least one first layer of the first material (Ml);

g) attaching the adhesive label (7) onto the opening (61) of the sheet (60) of heat-sealable material;

h) wrapping the semi-finished unit (5) with the sheet (60) of heat-sealable material, in such a way that the layer of first material (Ml) of the label (7) faces the open zone of the frame (4);

i) sealing the sheet (60) of heat-sealable material, forming a barrier-like envelope (6).

2. The method according to claim 1, comprising, before the step g), the step of applying said first layer of the first material (Ml) onto the adhesive label (7).

3. The method according to claims 1 or 2, further comprising the step of creating said opening (61) on the sheet (60) before the step e).

4. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the step of folding a blank of an outer packaging material around the envelope (6), in order to form a container (8) provided with an opening (80) for allowing access to the smoking articles arranged at the adhesive layer (7), and a cover (9) hinged to the container (8), rotatable in order to open and close the opening (80) of the container (8).

5. The method according to claim 4, further comprising the step of binding the adhesive label (7) of the envelope (6) to the cover (9), in such a way that when the cover (9) is rotated with respect to the container (8), the adhesive label (7) is simultaneously moved.

6. The method according to any of the claims from 1 to 3, further comprising the step of folding a blank of an outer packaging material around the envelope, in order to form a container provided with an opening that is configured to allow the exit, at least partially, of the semi-finished unit from the container, wrapped by the envelope, by means of a rotational or a translational movement, allowing access to the smoking articles.

7. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step of arranging the containing frame (4) around the wrapping sheet (3) comprises the sub-step of folding an inner packaging material blank (41) around the wrapping sheet (3) in such a way as to completely cover the wrapping sheet (3), apart from said open zone for accessing the smoking articles.

8. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the step d) comprises the sub-step of overlapping, two by two, portions (42, 43, 44, 45) of the containing frame (4) to contain the wrapper (3) with the group (2) of smoking articles within it; the method also comprises the step of binding the overlapped portions (42, 43, 44, 45) of the frame together in order to stabilize the frame (4).

9. The method according to the preceding claim, further comprising the step of deep-drawing the portions (42, 43, 44, 45) of the frame (4) to be overlapped.

10. The method according to claim 8, comprising, before the step d), the step of cutting, for each pair of portions (42, 43, 44, 45) of the frame (4) to be overlapped, at least one portion (42, 43), in such a way that its transversal development is smaller than that of the other portion (44, 45) of the same pair.

11. A packet (1) of smoking articles, comprising:

a group (2) of smoking articles;

a wrapper (3) comprising a first layer of a first material (Ml) and that wraps the group (2) of smoking articles in such a way that said first layer of first material (Ml) faces the smoking articles; the wrapper (3) being shaped in such a way as to define an opening (31) for extracting the smoking articles;

a containing frame (4) wrapped around the wrapper (3), in order to contain the group (2) of smoking articles and the wrapper (3), forming a semi-finished unit (5); the frame (4) comprises an open zone arranged at the opening of the wrapper (3), for extracting the smoking articles;

an envelope (6) of a second material (M2) that is different from the first material (Ml), and that is a sealed heat-sealable material; the envelope (6) contains the semi-finished unit (5) and is provided with at least one opening (61) arranged at said opening (31) of the wrapper (3);

an adhesive label (7) positioned in such a way as to cover the opening (61) of the envelope (6); the adhesive label (7) comprises a first surface that comprises a layer of said first material (Ml) facing the group (2) of smoking articles.

12. The packet (1) according to the preceding claim, wherein the first material (Ml) is paper or aluminum.

13. The packet (1) according to claims 11 or 12, wherein the wrapper (3) also comprises a layer of a third material (M3), which is different from the first material (Ml) and which is coupled to the layer of first material (Ml).

14. The packet (1) according to the preceding claim, wherein the third material (M3) is aluminum.

15. The packet (1) according to any one of the preceding claims from 11 to 14, further comprising a container (8) which contains the envelope (6) and which is provided with an opening (80) for accessing the smoking articles, arranged at the label (7) of the envelope (6) and a cover (9), which is hinged to the container (8), rotatable in order to open and close the opening (80) of the container (8).

16. The packet (1) according to claim 15, wherein the adhesive label

(7) of the envelope (6) is bound to the cover (9), in such a way that when the cover (9) is rotated with respect to the container (8) the adhesive label (7) is simultaneously moved.

17. The packet (1) according to any one of the preceding claims from 11 to 14, further comprising a container which contains the envelope and provided with an opening that is configured to allow the semi-finished unit - wrapped by the envelope - to exit at least partially from the container, by means of a rotational or a translational movement, allowing access to the smoking articles.

18. The packet (1) according to any one of the preceding claims from

11 to 17, wherein the containing frame (4) completely covers the wrapper (3), apart from an open zone (40) for accessing the smoking articles, defining a box-shaped frame (4).

19. The packet (1) according to any one of the preceding claims from 11 to 18, wherein the containing frame (4) comprises overlapped portions

(42, 43, 44, 45), two by two, for containing the wrapper (3) with the group (2) of smoking articles within it; said overlapped portions (42, 43, 44, 45) being bound to each other in such a way as to stabilize the frame (4).

20. The packet (1) according to claims 18 and 19, wherein said overlapped portions (42, 43, 44, 45) are found at least at the side walls of the box-shaped frame, and comprise strips of material having a main longitudinal development and a transversal development.

21. The packet (1) according to the preceding claim, wherein said overlapped portions (42, 43, 44, 45) are at least partially deep-drawn, for facilitating extraction of the smoking articles.

22. The packet (1) according to claim 20, wherein for each pair of overlapped portions (42, 43, 44, 45) one of the two portions (42, 43) has a smaller transversal development than the other one (44, 45), for facilitating extraction of the smoking articles.

Description:
"A method for producing a packet for smoking articles and packet obtained by this method"

A A A

DESCRIPTION

The present invention is part of the technical sector of packets for smoking articles. In detail, the invention relates to a method for producing a packet of smoking articles and to a packet obtained by this method.

Smoking articles are, for example, cigarettes, to which reference will be made explicitly, exclusively by way of example, in the following discussion.

A packet of cigarettes of the known type comprises an outer envelope consisting of a rigid or soft cardboard container, which is provided with an opening for extracting cigarettes. The cigarettes, arranged in the container, are generally wrapped in a wrapping material.

In some cases, the outer envelope can be provided with a cover that closes the container, which may have different shapes and can be, for example, hinged to the container, slidable or rotatable with respect to the container, or completely released from the container, or arranged according to other different methods. All these variations are dictated, above all, by the rapid changes in the market, which frequently require packet manufacturing companies to change the appearance of the outer envelope (container and/or cover), to follow consumers' preferences.

As is well known, in this sector, the need to optimally preserve the aroma of cigarettes over time, and to protect them from external agents (e.g. humidity), has always been deeply felt; these are aspects that contribute to determining the quality of the cigarettes themselves.

However, the different conformation of the outer envelope (container and/or possible cover) of the packets does not always allow easy adoption of the optimal arrangements to maintain the aroma and quality of the cigarettes contained in the package unaltered.

In other cases, it is possible to adopt these arrangements, but these must be provided ad hoc for each type of outer envelope, involving huge economic investments. Indeed, dedicated processes and packaging machines must be studied and designed every time.

The object of the present invention is to overcome the aforesaid drawbacks.

This object is achieved by proposing a method for producing a packet of smoking articles, a plant that implements the method, and a packet of smoking articles obtained with this method, in accordance with the attached claims.

Advantageously, the proposed invention allows the production of a packet of smoking articles which, independently of the presence or the conformation of an outer envelope (container and/or cover), is able to maintain the aroma unaltered, and the quality of the articles themselves, over time. Furthermore, the invention is simple to make and particularly versatile, as will be made clearer in the following description.

Additional advantages will be made clear in the following discussion, where reference will be made to the attached drawings, in which:

Figure 1 illustrates a group of smoking articles, specifically cigarettes;

Figure 2 illustrates a plan view of a wrapping sheet, which is part of the packet according to the invention, in which possible bending lines to be made thereon are illustrated, by way of example;

Figure 3 illustrates a perspective view of a packet of smoking articles according to the present invention, in which some parts have been removed to better highlight others;

Figure 4 illustrates a perspective view of the packet of Figure 3, in which some parts have been removed to better highlight others;

Figure 5A illustrates a plan view of a sheet of heat-sealable material, part of the packet according to the invention, in which an opening has been made according to the method according to the invention;

Figure 5B illustrates a plan view of an adhesive label comprising a layer of additional material, part of the packet according to the invention;

- Figure 5C shows a view similar to that of Figure 5 A, in which the adhesive label of Figure 5B is applied onto the opening of the sheet of heat-sealable material, according to the method according to the invention;

Figure 6 is a perspective view of a packet according to the invention, with a different degree of detail with respect to the packet of Figure 3; Figure 7 shows a perspective view of a packet according to the invention, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, following a different packaging operating step with respect to the package of Figure 6;

Figure 8 A illustrates a plan view of a blank for making a frame, part of the packet according to the invention, in a first variant;

Figure 8B illustrates a plan view of a packet made with the frame of Figure 8 A;

Figure 8C illustrates an enlarged view of the detail X of

Figure 8B;

- Figures 9A, 9B, 9C illustrate as many analogous views to those of Figures 8A, 8B, 8C, respectively, according to a second variant; in particular, Figure 9C illustrates an enlarged view of the detail Y of Figure 9B;

Figure 10A shows a plan view of a blank for making a frame, part of the packet according to the invention, in a third variant;

The invention relates to a packet 1 of smoking articles, illustrated by way of example in Figures 3, 4, 6, 7, according to different degrees of detail/embodiments .

A packet 1 of smoking articles according to the invention comprises: a group 2 of smoking articles (for example, cigarettes, illustrated in Figure 1); a wrapper 3, which comprises a layer of a first material Ml, and which wraps the group 2 of smoking articles so that the aforementioned layer of the first material Ml faces the smoking articles. The wrapper 3 (visible, for example, in Figure 2 in the extended configuration, and in Figure 3 while wrapping the smoking articles) is shaped so as to identify an opening 31 for extracting the smoking articles (see Figure 3). In other words, the wrapper 3, when it is in the extended configuration (see Figure 2), has a border 300 with a shaped profile. Figure 2 illustrates, with dashed lines, by way of example, possible lines LI for bending the wrapper.

The packet 1 also comprises a containment frame 4 wrapped around the wrapper 3, so as to contain the group 2 of smoking articles and the wrapper 3, forming a semi-finished unit 5 (see Figure 4). The frame 4 (visible, for example, in Figure 8A and 9A in an extended configuration, in two different variants, and in Figure 4 while it wraps around the wrapper 3) comprises an open zone 40 arranged at the opening 31 of the wrapper 3, for extracting the smoking articles. With reference to Figure 4, the frame 4 and the wrapper 3 are mutually dimensioned so that an edge of the wrapper 3 (in particular, the edge 300, with reference to the extended wrapper of Figure 2) protrudes (though minimally) through the open zone 40 of the frame 4.

The packet 1 also comprises an envelope 6 (see Figure 6) of a second material M2, different from the first material Ml, which is a heat-sealable material with a barrier effect (also called "sealed", i.e. a material capable of forming a barrier to external agents, such as humidity, which could degrade the quality of the smoking articles, in particular, their aroma); the envelope 6 contains the semi-finished unit 5 and is provided with at least one opening 1, arranged at the aforementioned opening 31 of the wrapper 3 for extraction (the envelope 6 is visible in an extended configuration, in Figures 5A and 5C, and in Figures 6 and 7 while it wraps around the semi-finished unit 5). Figures 5A and 5C illustrate, by way of example, possible bending lines L2 to be made thereon.

The packet 1 further comprises an adhesive label 7 positioned on the envelope 6 so as to cover the opening 61; the adhesive label 7 (visible singly in Figure 5B, and fixed to the sheet of heat-sealable material in Figures 5C and 7), comprises a first surface comprising (or preferably formed by) a layer of the aforementioned first material Ml facing the group 2 of smoking articles. With reference to Figure 5B, the layer of first material Ml does not extend over the entire first surface of the label 7. According to a variant visible, for example, in Figure 7, the entire first surface of the label 7 consists of the layer of first material Ml.

Advantageously, the packet 1 proposed above has a simple structure and, at the same time, makes it possible to maintain the aroma and quality of the smoking articles unchanged over time.

The presence of a wrapper 3 that wraps around the smoking articles and, in combination, of a barrier-effect envelope 6 ("sealed") closed by an adhesive label 7, in fact, offers an optimal protection to the smoking articles contained in the packet 1. Furthermore, the proposed packet 1 is particularly versatile because it can also be implemented with a container 8 of any type and a possible cover 9 (as will be explained below).

Moreover, the presence of the opening 31 for extracting the smoking articles in the envelope 3 facilitates the opening of the adhesive label 7. In fact, usually, wrappers of the known art completely wrap around the smoking articles and comprise a removable tear-off portion (by means of a pre-fracture or pre-cutting line, not visible in the attached figures), which can be torn by a user at the first opening of the packet, for access to smoking articles. This removable portion is not only impractical, but, moreover, since it is essentially a flap of material partially free to move, it can negatively interfere with the adhesive label.

Finally, the fact that the label 7 comprises a layer of the first material Ml in such a way as to face the group 2 of smoking articles respects some recent regulations concerning packaging products.

For example, the first material Ml is paper.

Preferably, the wrapper 3 further comprises a layer of a third material M3, which is different from the first material Ml, and which is coupled to the layer of first material Ml. Preferably, the third material M3 is aluminum (see Figure 3). For example, the wrapper 3 with which the group 2 of smoking articles is wrapped is a sheet of metallized paper (also called "silver paper" or "foil"), or rather, a non-heat-sealable material. Alternatively, the wrapper 3 consists of a coupled material comprising aluminum, different from the "foil" paper.

Preferably, the label 7 is made of a multilayer material, comprising, for example, aluminum (or rather, it is a coupled material comprising aluminum) (which may form the first material Ml) or comprises metallized paper (the paper may form, for example, the first material Ml).

Instead, with respect to the barrier-effect envelope 6, the second material M2, of which it is made, is an opaque thermoplastic material, i.e. which does not let light pass. Preferably, the thermoplastic material of which envelope 6 is made is a reflective opaque thermoplastic material, i.e. capable of reflecting light.

The opening 61 of the envelope 6 of heat-sealable material is preferably obtained by the removal of material in the envelope 6 itself (or rather, a "window", obtained from a notch that extends along a closed profile), as shown in Figure 5A.

The envelope 6 shown in Figure 6 (and partially in Figure 7) has, on both sides, respective flaps 610, 62 folded one on top of the other and then sealed. The envelope 6 also has a weld that is fixed onto the lower side, not visible in the attached figures.

Alternatively, according to a variant not illustrated, the envelope can have, also laterally, two opposed and fixed welds, as described in the international publication WO2015136510.

The adhesive label 7 is fixed to the envelope 6 of heat-sealable material to cover (and close) the opening 61 by means of a repositionable adhesive (or a sticky substance) (also called "weak glue" or "glue that does not dry out"), which is applied to the first surface of the adhesive label 7, in particular, all around the opening for extracting the smoking articles to allow the label 7 to be partially separated several times from the envelope 6 of heat-sealable material (that is, at each opening of the packet 1) and then fixed again non-permanently to the envelope 6. Specifically, the adhesive does not affect, or rather, is not applied to the layer of first material Ml which faces the group 2 of smoking articles.

The adhesive label 7 can be provided with a tongue 70 lacking repositionable adhesive, which can be gripped by a user to facilitate lifting of the adhesive label 7 for access to the smoking articles (see Figures 5B, 5C and 6). In addition, the label 7 can be provided with permanent glue at the relative rear portion, opposite the tongue (70), to prevent complete removal of the label 7 from the envelope 6.

In accordance with the preferred embodiment illustrated in Figure 7, the packet 1 can also comprise a container 8, which contains the barrier-like ("sealed") envelope 6, and which is provided with an opening 80 (indicated only in a generic way in Figure 7). The container 8 is preferably made of rigid cardboard. Alternatively, the container 8 is, for example, made of plastic or metallic material.

According to one embodiment, the opening 80 of the container 8 is arranged at the label 7 of the envelope 6 to allow access to the smoking articles, and the packet 1 also comprises a cover 9 hinged to the container 8, rotatable to open and close the opening 80 of the container 8. The cover 9 is, for example, made of a single body with the container 8, it is also made of rigid cardboard (or, in any case, of the same material with which the container 8 is made) and can be shaped like a cup (still referring to figure 7)ยท

Preferably, considering the aforesaid embodiment, the adhesive label 7 of the envelope 6 is bound to the cover 9, so that rotating the cover 9 with respect to the container 8 simultaneously moves the adhesive label 7 (as illustrated in Figure 7). This embodiment is particularly practical for the user, who can rotate the cover 9 and, in a single gesture, lift (or reposition) the adhesive label 7.

As an alternative to that described above, according to a different embodiment not illustrated, the packet can further comprise a container (for example, made of rigid cardboard), which contains the barrier-effect envelope, and which is provided with an opening, arranged in such a way as to allow the (at least partial) exit through the opening, by rotation or translation, of the semi-finished unit wrapped by the envelope from the container, allowing access to the smoking articles. In this case, the opening of the container can be arranged at a side wall or on the upper wall of the container (considering the orientation of the packet in use).

From the above description, it can be seen that the packet subject of the invention is suitable for any production and/or technical need, since it can be without a container 8, or it can comprise a container 8 of different conformation and a possible cover 9.

In the event that the packet 1 comprises a container 8 and a possible cover 9, as in the embodiments described above, in order to preserve the aroma and the quality of the smoking articles over time, it is not necessary to provide, outside the container 8 and the possible cover 9, a layer of transparent thermoplastic material, as is the case with known solutions.

Preferably, the containment frame 4 is a blank 41 made of inner packaging material (provided with suitable folding lines PI, indicated - by way of example - in Figures 8A and 9A with dashed lines, and made according to known methods), for example cardboard, which defines an open zone 40 to allow access to smoking articles (shown in Figure 4).

According to the preferred embodiment, shown in Figure 4, the containment frame 4 completely covers the wrapper 3, except for the open zone 40 (for access to the smoking articles). In other words, in this case, the containment frame 4 has a box-like shape which, for example, has six walls, to define a parallelepiped shape. The open zone 40, for example, partially involves the front wall and partially involves the upper wall of the frame 4, or rather, those walls arranged at the adhesive label 7 when the packet 1 is closed. Advantageously, this embodiment is particularly robust.

The containment frame 4 preferably comprises the portions 42, 43, 44, 45 (or flaps), which are overlapped two by two to contain the wrapper 3 with the group 2 of smoking articles inside it; these overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 (indicated for greater clarity in Figures 8 A, 9A and 10 relative to the blank 41, as will be made clear below) may be bound together to stabilize the frame 4 itself, for example, they may be glued on top of each other.

The overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 may extend so as to constitute, once the frame 4 is obtained, at least part of the lower wall (in the example of Figure 10), of the upper wall (Figures 8 A, 9A and 10) ) in addition to the side walls of the box-shaped frame 4 (see Figures 8A, 9A and 10).

Figures 8A and 9A illustrate two alternative blanks 41 of inner packaging material that can each be used to form a corresponding containment frame 4. In both cases, the overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 may extend in such a way as to constitute, once the frame 4 is obtained, at least part of the upper wall and the side walls of the box-shaped frame 4.

With reference to Figures 8A and 9A, the portions 42, 43, 44, 45, overlapped at the side walls of the frame 4, comprise strips of material having a prevalent longitudinal development and a transverse development, and which overlap two by two. In other words, in this case, the blank 41 is bent longitudinally with respect to its development.

With reference to the embodiment of Figures 8A, 8B and 8C, the aforesaid overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 are at least partially deep- drawn to facilitate extraction of the smoking articles. In other words, the overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 are at least partially plastically deformed, for example, by punching, to reduce the overall thickness of the overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45.

In accordance with an alternative embodiment, illustrated in Figures

9 A, 9B and 9C, for each pair of overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45, one of the two portions 42, 43 has a smaller transverse development than the other, 44, 45.

Advantageously, both of the embodiments described above facilitate extraction of the smoking articles from the packet 1, since the deep- drawing/different transverse development of the overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 reduces the compression force of the frame 4 on the smoking articles.

With reference to Figure 10, a blank 41 is illustrated according to an alternative with respect to Figures 8A and 9A. In this case, the overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 may extend so as to constitute, once the frame 4 is obtained, at least part of the lower wall, of the upper wall and the side walls of the box-shaped frame 4. Still with reference to Figure 10, the overlapped portions 42, 43, 44, 45 at the side walls of the frame 4 comprise strips of material having a prevalent transverse development and a longitudinal development, and which overlap two by two. In other words, in this case, the blank 41 is bent transversally with respect to its development.

Clearly, also in this embodiment, the aforementioned portions 42, 43, 44, 45 can be at least partly deep-drawn or cut to facilitate extraction of the smoking articles, as already mentioned for the variants illustrated in Figures 8A and 9A.

The invention also relates to a method for producing a packet 1 for smoking articles (for example, cigarettes), comprising the steps of:

a) providing a wrapping sheet 3 comprising at least one first layer of a first material Ml;

b) removing a portion of the wrapping sheet 3 in order to define a shaped profile;

c) wrapping a group 2 of smoking articles with the wrapping sheet 3;

d) arranging a containing frame 4 provided with at least one open zone around the wrapping sheet 3, in order to contain the group 2 of smoking articles and the wrapping sheet 3, forming a semi-finished unit 5, with the open zone of the frame 4 facing the shaped profile of the wrapping sheet 3;

e) supplying a sheet 60 of a heat-sealable material provided with an opening 61;

f) providing an adhesive label 7 comprising at least one first layer of the first material Ml;

g) attaching the adhesive label 7 onto the opening 61 of the sheet 60 of heat-sealable material;

h) wrapping the semi-finished unit 5 with the sheet 60 of heat- sealable material, in such a way that the layer of first material Ml of the label 7 faces the open zone of the frame 4;

i) sealing the sheet 60 of heat-sealable material, forming a barrier-like envelope 6.

Advantageously, the method proposed above allows the production of a packet 1 for smoking articles that guarantees the quality, over time, of the articles contained therein (aroma and protection against external agents), independently of the presence of a container 8 and an outer cover 9, or their conformation, as already described above.

The method according to the invention also allows the production of a particularly simple and versatile packet 1 of smoking articles. In fact, the method allows the use of the packet 1 obtained only by the steps described above, or it can be combined with further steps, as will be described below.

The proposed method clearly offers all the same advantages already described above for packet 1.

The step g) of applying the adhesive label 7 to the opening 61 of the sheet 60 can take place either before or after step e) of supplying a sheet 60 of heat-sealable material. In other words, according to that previously described, the sheet 60 of heat-sealable material being supplied may already be provided with the adhesive label 7, or not. In the first case, the production process is certainly facilitated, since it is guaranteed that the group 2 of smoking articles cannot come out from the folded sheet 60. The remaining steps can occur in succession to each other.

The method can comprise, before the step g), the step of applying said first layer of the first material Ml onto the adhesive label 7.

Furthermore, the method can comprise, before the step e), the step of making the aforementioned opening 61 on the sheet 60.

The method according to the invention can also comprise the step of folding a blank of outer packaging material (e.g., cardboard) around the envelope 6, to form a container 8 provided with an opening 80 (in accordance with the embodiment of Figure 7).

According to the embodiment of the invention already described above in which the opening 80 of the container 8 is arranged at the adhesive label 7 of the envelope 6, a cover 9 is formed, together with the container 8, which is hinged to the container 8, in particular, rotatable to open and close the opening 80 of the container 8.

Preferably, with reference to the embodiment just described, the method also comprises the step of binding the adhesive label 7 of the envelope 6 to the cover 9, so that rotating the cover 9 with respect to the container 8 simultaneously moves the adhesive label 7. In particular, the method may comprise the step of permanently gluing a portion of the adhesive label 7 to the inner surface of the cover 9 (which is, for example, "cup"-shaped), in such a way that opening or closing the cover 9 also simultaneously raises and repositions the adhesive label 7 (referring to that previously described).

Alternatively to that described above, the method according to the invention may also comprise the step of folding a blank of an outer packaging material around the envelope, in order to form a container provided with an opening that is configured to allow the exit, at least partially, of the semi-finished unit wrapped by the envelope, from the container, by means of a rotational or a translational movement, allowing access to the smoking articles.

The step of arranging the containing frame 4 around the wrapping sheet 3 comprises the sub-step of folding an inner packaging material blank around the wrapping sheet 3 in such a way as to completely cover the wrapping sheet 3, apart from said open zone for accessing the smoking articles.

Preferably, the step d) comprises the sub-step of overlapping, two by two, portions 42, 43, 44, 45 of the containing frame 4 for containing the wrapper 3 with the group 2 of smoking articles within it; the method further comprises the step of binding together the overlapped portion 42, 43, 44, 45 of the frame in order to stabilize the frame 4 (for example, by means of "cold" glue).

According to an alternative, the method further comprises, before step d), the step of deep-drawing the portions 42, 43, 44, 45 of frame 4 to be overlapped (as already described and illustrated in Figures 8A-8C).

According to another alternative, the method comprises, before the step d), the step of cutting, for each pair of portions 42, 43, 44, 45 to be overlapped, of the frame 4, at least one of the portions 42, 43, in such a way that its transversal development is smaller than that of the other portion 44, 45 of the same pair (as already described and illustrated in Figures 9A-9C).

The method described above is, for example, implemented by a plant (not shown) which may comprise one or more packaging machines.

For example, a section can be provided for forming groups 2 of smoking articles; a section for cutting sheets of wrappers 3 to define a shaped profile thereon; a section for wrapping each group 2 of smoking articles with a cut wrapper 3.

Following the section for wrapping each group 2 of smoking articles with a wrapper, the semi-formed packets are made to advance along a conveying path: in fact, removing material from the wrappers 3 could cause the unwanted spillage of smoking articles.

The plant can also comprise a section which arranges a containment frame around each wrapper, so as to at least partially contain the group of smoking articles and the wrapping, forming a semi-finished unit. Upstream of the aforementioned section, a deep-drawing section or a cutting section can be provided to carry out the deep-drawing or cutting of the portions 42, 43 for overlapping of the frame 4, according to that previously described.

The plant may also comprise an overwrapping section for wrapping the semi-finished unit 5 with a sheet 60 of heat-sealable material, this sheet 60 is provided with an opening 61, and for sealing, by welding, each wrapped sheet 60 to a semi-finished unit 5, forming an envelope 6 with a barrier effect ("sealed").

The plant may also comprise means for providing an adhesive label 7 on the opening 61 of each sheet 60 of heat-sealable material, to cover it, or alternatively, directly onto the envelope 6.

The plant may further comprise means for providing a layer of the first material Ml on each adhesive label. The layer of first material Ml can be obtained, for example, from the scrap resulting from cutting of the sheets of wrapping material 3.