How to make cigarettes in Belarus
Mindful of the fact that smoking is hazardous to health (as well as that in 2012, almost every Belarusian bought 150 packs of cigarettes), we went to the "Neman" Grodno Tobacco Factory. This company is in the top 6 of the largest taxpayers in the country, it has already passed through the thorns of modernization and, despite countermeasures physicians, continues to build momentum.
In Belarus produce products of its own and foreign cigarette brands to see where the best tobacco price increase, and whether the country will be self-extinguishing cigarettes? This - in this photo essay.
Every year the world produces more than 6 trillion cigarettes, and the numbers are only growing. Giant industry scale, however, on a single plant is not felt. Modern production lines are compact and do not take up much space. But "shooting bursts." Six, eight, ten thousand cigarettes per minute ... Who is the greatest?
At the entrance, "quite a few" employees show controller packs, which come on production. Millions and billions of cigarettes, but each - poduchetna. The output - control again. "We produce cigarettes, but smoking in the factory allowed only in specially designated areas," - says the Deputy Director General Dmitry Chugai.
One of such places - the tasting room. It regularly gather tasters (they have passed a special training course in the Krasnodar Research Institute of Tobacco, tobacco and tobacco products - it turns out there is such). They sit down at the table, puffed a cigarette, filled with a special tasting sheets. Every cigarette is evaluated on several parameters: the aroma and taste of tobacco smoke, stress when tightening the fortress, flammability and others.
- We usually do 4-5 puffs, is no longer required - says Dmitry Chugai. - To receptors rest, drink water or tea. Per tasting smoked no more than 5 samples. That smoking tasters (and hundreds of thousands of Belarusians)? Let's see.
In "Nieman" carry out the entire production cycle. Schematically, it looks like this: the purchase of raw materials, manufacturing tobacco mixture (bags) filtropalochek directly manufacture of cigarettes.
- Cigarettes are different in composition of the tobacco mixture: every 15 to 22 varieties of tobacco, which buys more than 20 countries around the world - experts tell us. - The main volumes of products are made of American Blend bags, which consists of tobacco "Virginia", "East", "Oriental", "Burley" with the addition of tobacco vein. 80% of cigarettes in our - own brands, 20% - contract manufacturing with British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International.
In this form, the raw material comes from abroad. In every box - a Tall tobacco.
In stock form the sets needed for the manufacture of a particular cigarette brand. Their forms blenders. Pressed into "bales" tobacco is fed to the input line.
On the line - for the production of tobacco, one of the brands of cigarettes Belarus. After entering the plant feed is separated and proceeds along two lines. In one - tobacco, the second - the vein (the central portion of the tobacco leaf), which is a part of almost any tobacco cut filler.
midrib line: Tobacco vein is first moistened, then goes to the binning in the silo, is sliced on the machine, then - on of expansion where it is treated with steam. Then to "blow up" vein is directed to the drying drum and the conveyor is for mixing with tobacco.
raw tobacco line: processes similar in many respects. Tobacco "bale" is cut into four pieces, followed by processes of a casing (for flavor) and conditioning. Then - moisturizing, binning dryers.
By means of special weights tobacco vein and mixed in the desired ratio (depending on the brand of cigarettes), flavored. The result - a tobacco bag, which is used in the later stages of production. In cigarettes "super-slim" According to experts, the vein of the bags are not included.
- The country is fashionable to talk about import substitution. Grow in Belarus is impossible to tobacco? - we are interested.
- These experiments were conducted, - told the experts. - In 2003-2004, the question involved Grodno selhozuniversitet. The results are not impressed: in our climatic zone, the plants do not have time to ripen. Raw materials of low quality is obtained. In addition to that there are no plants for further processing tobacco leaf and build them impractical - investments will not pay off. In the production of the same reasons used imported cigarette paper, foreign paper rim. When the collapse of the Union have been attempts to use for this purpose products "Gomeloboi", but the idea refused. Purchased abroad and special food flavors and sauces. Supply of materials made exclusively from world famous manufacturers.
We move along the processing chain further. Straight to the filling station - here the finished bag is stored in containers. Organized its automatic feeding in a cigarette shop.
The cigarette-cigarette shop
Do you know what a cigarette? Replies can be several, but purely technically correct as follows: the "smoking article consisting of a segment of the tobacco rod wrapped in cigarette paper, glued on the longitudinal seam, which is attached to the end of the filter tip." In other words, a simple-looking product consists of several components. The manufacturing process begins by loading the bags in the cigarette making machine.
The next process step - the formation of the tobacco rod. Automatically fed into the machine, the cigarette paper, and manufactured by the so-called cigarette rod - the long tube. Plug is cut into individual pieces, in filtrosborochnoy car to the base of "align" filtropalochki. This kit is glued tipping paper, and then cut into two parts. We get ready cigarette.
Show on photos only some of the operations: the majority of manipulations are hidden inside the car and happen at high speeds.
Pipelining in transit through the drive cigarettes go to the packaging machine - get the first pack and then blocks.
All processes are automated: the process of sticking labels, tear tape, the formation of "collar" label excise stamps, otselofanivanie.
According to the tape ready box "fly" to the warehouse. The power of this line - 10,000 cigarettes per minute ...
The most common complaint about the Belarusian producers: why famous brands made by us, differ for the worse from their foreign counterparts?
- It's a stereotype, - says Dmitry Chugai. - All production is completely controlled by foreign companies specialists. Processes monitor their supervisors, executives come from the UK and Switzerland. Judge for yourself: in our factory set exactly the same equipment as in the factories of these companies worldwide. Our specialists have been trained abroad. Raw buy from the same suppliers. A difference in taste can be explained simply. In different regions of the world cigarettes differ. If you are like the tobacco mixture, already Ukrainian cigarette smoking is unusual for us to Russia and Belarus. Not to mention countries such as Greece or, for example, India.
- What's more profitable for the factory: to cultivate their own brands or make license?
- To produce foreign brands was especially important when we started. In the early 2000s, there was chaos in the country's tobacco industry: 20% of official imports, the same amount of smuggling that went from Russia, Ukraine to Europe and partially settled in Belarus. In the Grodno factory while 80% of facilities have been downloaded cigarettes without filter production ... When the question arose about the development of the tobacco industry, it was decided not to reinvent the wheel, and to start production of cigarettes of famous brands, which usually favors a smoker. They offered large multinational companies involved in the production, to invest in the development of the industry, having the opportunity to present on the market. Not all companies want then this - so we do not have on the market of some well-known brands. Nevertheless, it was possible to establish cooperation. As a result, since 2006, while the state remains 100% stake in the factory was attracted nearly 20 million euros of foreign investment in the form of a grant sponsorship, the modernization carried out, the experience obtained. Well-known brands have made it possible to download the power to restore the image. And to say today that it is cheaper? .. And then, and more. But in terms of positioning the rate needs to be done on their own brands, but they are able to guarantee stability. In the past year we have significantly stepped up exports, were able to enter the challenging Russian market ...
- But we are buying still mostly imported ...
- This is also a stereotype. If you look at the volume of sales, in the lead - our own brand.
For its own brands "Neman" has established production filtropalochek - mono-acetate. They are made from chemical fiber. By the way, there is still releasing unfiltered cigarettes, but their share is gradually falling in the market.
Does the tobacco industry workers are afraid of competition from manufacturers of electronic cigarettes? Specialists of "Neman" are convinced that this new trend will soon forget.
- Global manufacturers at the same time declare that they are willing to invest in the development of this alternative method of nicotine enters the body, - said Dmitry Chugai. - The question is that until the end of e-cigarettes and their effects on the body have not been studied.
What are "say" smoking machine
Can I make a cigarette Safe? The question is rhetorical. However, to maintain the necessary standards manufacturers have to. On each line are set numerous control points, computer monitors compliance with the recipe parameters, appearance, and many other indicators. The workshops provided dedusting, are air-conditioned.
- All raw materials are accepted commissions held at this stage of the input control, - says head of the laboratory to control the production of Ioannina Petelchits. - Samples of finished cigarettes we weigh, measure their length, check the volume-elastic properties of tobacco and many other indicators.
Universal Testing Machine Control label:
Safety Criteria defines smoking machine. With the help of periodic "prokurivayut" every brand of cigarettes.
- Before that create conditions for special designs: it is necessary that they have reached the equilibrium moisture content, - explains the laboratory staff.
Cigarettes are loaded into a smoking machine that mimics the tightness of the average smoker. The trap is laid for smoke filters.
After "prokurivaniya" filter is soaked in a special extraction solution, and then the resultant liquid is checked by gas chromatography. After data reduction data assistants prepared nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide in a cigarette. These are the details that lead on the pack.
It should be a smoking machine is about 180 thousand. Euro.
Some time ago, the Emergency Situations Ministry raised the issue that the Belarusian producers need to go to the so-called self-extinguishing cigarettes - in order to reduce the number of people killed in the fires through negligence. Such a rule already exists in the EU, and we have the only question being studied.
- We did tester, bought in France the necessary paper - says Janina Petelchits. - Conducted test. In 75% of the paper really dies, but is still 25% ... In principle, we are ready to produce such cigarettes. But the paper is very expensive and would increase the cost of production by 6 times.
As experts say, for 10 years, the factory has reduced the average nicotine content per unit of private label products is almost 2 times: 1, 22 mg per cigarette in 2000 to 0, 7 mg in 2012.
"China will save us"
We have repeatedly published the views of physicians calling to raise the cost of cigarettes, making them inaccessible to the citizens of Belarus. What people think about this manufacturer?
- People quit smoking if a pack of cigarettes will cost 40 thousand.?
- I do not think, - says Dmitry Chugai. - In this case, we "help" China, which is now at 90% of world supplies contraband cigarettes. By the way, they have even learned to forge our Belarusian brands! As soon as the Belarusian excise will be at or slightly more than the cost of the delivery of cigarettes from China, a country flooded with contraband.
- What impact on cigarette sales and the cost of the obligation to "draw" on packs the terrible pictures of the effects of smoking?
- If you will oblige, will "draw!" Just let our printing house to prepare. Otherwise you'll have to buy an expensive label for the currency. As for the effect of such images, then our own research, we have not performed. As world practice shows, the first stages of the people, on the contrary, acquire cigarettes out of curiosity. In 2012, the Grodno factory produced 26, 65 billion cigarettes - is 113, 9% compared to 2011. A record number of over 150 years of history of the company. Last year, the budget received by "a lot" 1, 79 trillion rubles of taxes. In 2013, the GTP plans to transfer 3, $ 7 trillion rubles. Is it profitable to develop the state tobacco industry? The answer, I think, is obvious.