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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for 2000

Will Bob Mcguire Join Harry Potter On Steel Thickness Debate?

August 8th, 2000 by Andrew Castle

Filed under: Industry News

Since the adoption of the UN recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods there has been a leap in the technology towards manufacturing containers of thinner gauge steel. The majority of new drum manufacturers have argued that they can achieve the same performance levels with thinner materials. Apparently, according to J.K. Rowling in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," a similar controversy has been brewing in another industry. In Europe, the Department of International Magical Co-Operation (DIMC) has been working on standardizing cauldron metal thickness. It appears that foreign imports of cauldrons have led to an increase in the number of leakage incidents (a 3% annual increase). The British Legislators and cauldron manufacturers are becoming more and more concerned that unless minimum thickness requirements are imposed the market might well end up being flooded with "flimsy, shallow bottomed products that present serious hazards….." (Page 56). Given this divine performance parallel, container manufacturers could use the DIMC‘s 3% increase in leakage as evidence of their own arguments that thinner containers leak more frequently. The containers are essentially very similar, although one type is used for chemicals, the other for potions.

DOT Regulatory Issues Update

July 4th, 2000 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN

On June 14th, 2000, DOT held a Third Party Testing Seminar in Chicago to field questions about upcoming issues relating to packaging. Summarizing the issues relating to UN certified steel containers, the following points were discussed. With regard to the adoption of ISO Guide 25, if it were adopted it would be proposed that it would be incorporated in to the UN text. The opinion of the panel was that even if it were incorporated into the text and the US put it into CFR 49, they do not want to change the ability to self certify. Regarding Vibration testing, if it were incorporated into CFR, the audience questioned whether the requirement stating that "the container must be capable of passing" rather than "the container must pass" would still exist. DOT said that they would adopt it if it became part of the text although whether it would be just a design type requirement or whether it would also apply to the periodic re-test would be something that they would have to look at if the situation ever arose. Periodic Re-testing was discussed from the perspective of if there was any chance of getting rid of the requirement to perform the re-test every year. DOT stated that "maybe" if we can come up with a reasonable solution. DOT offered to discuss it as they accept that the current situation is far from perfect. The Closure Instructions issue was discussed and one reference to torque was made suggesting that "minimum" torque measurements be stated on the instruction rather than stating a torque range. DOT agreed with this option. Relative to required drum markings (CFR 178.503(a)) on the issue of "intent to recondition," for the first time DOT offered a definition of the phrase "liable to undergo a reconditioning process" and used the example of a packaging that meets minimum thickness requirements. Until now, DOT only defined this intent in a provision referencing drums over 30 gal capacity.

Watch Out For Promotional Items That Are Dangerous Goods

July 4th, 2000 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News

Southwest Airlines was fined $70,000 for knowingly accepting a box as checked baggage. The contents of the box was 20 smaller boxes of 50 cigarette lighters totaling 1000 lighters. Southwest Airlines received the fine, rather then the passenger, as the FAA stated that the box was clearly marked "lighters" when it was accepted as baggage. The issue of concern is the effectiveness of employee training and being able to identify hazardous materials that could be brought onto non-hazardous material carriers. Southwest Airlines is a non-hazardous materials carrier.

"Whack No More"…thanks To Skolnik‘s Leverlock Drum Closure

July 4th, 2000 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Salvage Drum

Recently introduced as an alternative to conventional bolt ring closures, Skolnik customers find that not having to whack drums before closing is a monumental improvement to the final drum closure process. The patented "Whack No More" design is the first toggle-style ring to ever be used successfully for UN certified ’T’ Salvage Drums. In addition to the performance integrity, one customer reports that they have reduced the drum closure process from 6 minutes to less then 30 seconds and that due to the severe labor savings and the minimal ring cost, their overall profit margin has improved. Call or email us if you are ready to "Whack No More" and resolve your Salvage Drum closure process.