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

Archive for 2009

We’re Experts On Making Pan Drums too!

July 14th, 2009 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff

Anyone doing a search for “steel drums” immediately realizes that Pan Drums, the popular drum used in Caribbean and Calypso bands, dominates the browser rankings. Even though our specialty is making drums for hazardous materials, there was an opportunity for us to share our manufacturing knowledge with the well known Pan Drum maker and musician, Mr. Cliff Alexis, a professor at Northern Illinois University. The challenge was to help Cliff increase productivity and reduce his rejections. When making a Pan Drum, the process generally involves the pounding of a used 55 gallon steel drum with various mallets. The pounded metal surface, when finely tuned, produces a complete musical scale. A drum can take up to 2 weeks to complete and after weeks of pounding and tuning, many of the drum seams often split or the metal deforms and the drum has to be discarded. Cliff asked if we could identify why this was happening. The Skolnik think-tank investigated the aspects relating to the Pan Drum process. We looked at metal thickness, seam design and metal type. We created prototype drums made with exacting detail and ultimately found that we could, indeed, manufacture a drum that significantly influenced the outcome for success. We found that steel thickness was critical and by ordering a specific and consistent metal thickness, as well as a specific seam type, the rejection rate was greatly reduced and productivity improved. We believe that because of using various drum types that were in the field, most of which were made from light gauge steel, it was these variables that needed to be controlled to improve consistent production. To this day, whenever I see Pan Drums in play, I check the seam and look for the Skolnik embossment. Even in the world of Pan Drums, Skolnik carries a great respect for quality!

Un-Oaked Whites Increase in Popularity

July 14th, 2009 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

It’s hard to beat a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc when those summer temperatures begin to rise! With the heat of summer upon us, the popularity of non-oaked Sauvignon Blancs’, Chardonnays’ and other white wines continue to increase as an attractive wine option. Until recently, it would be hard to find a Chardonnay that was not aged in oak. Oak was the standard. Today, those same Chardonnay’s are being aged in stainless steel wine barrels. In fact, many wine labels now tout the fact that they are no longer aged in oak barrels! Ranging in size from 5 to 55 gallons, Skolnik’s stainless steel wine barrels are being used domestically and internationally by wine makers that invest in new technologies for aging. Skolnik’s stainless steel wine barrels continue to be a qualified alternate to oak, and play an instrumental role in adapting to the change in consumers desire for non-oaked wines. In the near future, we expect to see “Aged in Stainless” proudly displayed on wine bottles throughout the world.

We’ve Changed our Contact Telephone Numbers

June 9th, 2009 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News

As of June 1st, our individual staff numbers have changed and you can print a copy of the new numbers by clicking here. Our main number (773.735.0700), fax number (773.735.7257) and Toll Free number (800-441.8780) have not changed.

Skolnik Accents the Positive

June 9th, 2009 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News

The leading hazardous materials magazine relating to safe transport of dangerous goods featured an interview about the future outlook of steel drums for hazmat and how Skolnik Industries is preparing for future expansion. In the May 2009 edition of Hazardous Cargo Bulletin, “Drums to Order,” explains how Skolnik manufactures top-end products for demanding applications encompassing everything from wine to radioactive materials with an emphasis on markets that are demanding about accountability and durability. A reference is made to the “corporate culture” in which creativity, intelligence and manufacturing excellence are mixed with a good amount of fun. As for what lays ahead, Skolnik remains optimistic about the future, “individuals and businesses must return to spending within their means, establishing financial reserves and still providing for growth.” HCB concludes that no matter what fates are in store for industry, Skolnik appears to be one company that is better equipped than others to cope with potential obstacles. “At Skolnik, we continue to improve, replace and revise. We’re not the Queen Mary, we’re a small speed boat and whatever market conditions prevail we are able to respond quickly and efficiently.” Click here to read the full “Drums to Order” article.