Cured tobacco must be processed further before manufacturing cigarettes
After harvesting and curing, the cured leaf is processed through a Green Leaf Threshing plant.
The main purpose of this processing is to:
- remove sand, dust, scraps and foreign matter;
- separate the lamina from the stem (threshing); and
- drive down the moisture content to safe storage levels.
Processed tobacco is then packed into 200kg cardboard boxes for shipping to our manufacturing sites. Pakistan Tobacco Company's Green Leaf Threshing plant is located at Akora Khattak, in the NWFP.
At the factory, the matured tobacco is checked for quality and then carefully blended with other ingredients which the brand recipe may call for, such as flavorings or pre-processed tobacco. Keeping track of the various types of tobacco and blend components is key and computers are increasingly used to track production runs.
Moisture content is crucial. Too dry and the tobacco leaf will crumble; too moist and it may spoil during storage. The blended tobacco is treated with just the right amount of steam and water to make it supple and then cut into the form in which it appears in the cigarette. Excess moisture is then removed so the cut tobacco can be given a final blending and quality check.
Cigarette making, once done entirely by hand, is today almost fully automated, with the cut tobacco, cigarette paper and filters continuously fed into cigarette-making machines. The technology has advanced dramatically over the years, but quality is not forgotten; each cigarette is automatically quality controlled to ensure that it meets every benchmark for its specification.
As packing machines put them into the familiar brand packs, wrap the packs in protective film, and group them into cartons and cases; further testing takes place at each stage to make sure the cigarettes are properly protected. The completed cases, time-dated to ensure the freshest product possible, are then ready for distribution.
Our two manufacturing sites are located at Jhelum, Punjab and Akora Khattak, NWFP.