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

Archive for 2010

Improve Your Sustainability with a Steel Drum Stove

November 9th, 2010 by Josh Ford

Filed under: Cool Stuff

We recently received an inquiry from a potential customer, Mr. Ernst Peischl, asking about the features of our 30 gallon carbon and stainless steel drums. The dimensional details were critical as he informed me that he was going to use the drum to retrofit the fireplace in his home with a more efficient Barrel Stove. Ultimately, he bought an unpainted version our CQ3010, 30 Gallon Closed Head Steel Drum which is constructed of 18 gauge (1.2mm) carbon steel. He worked on it over the weekend and this morning, I received pictures of the finished product. Turns out that Ernst is somewhat of a master craftsman and made a very impressive stove. His goal was to use wood more efficiently, which he now should be able to do. The black steel pipe with the homls in it will be used to force combustion air into the firebox area. Click here to see photo’s of Ernst’s Barrel Stove.

I was so impressed, I thought it would be a good opportunity to let our Newsletter readers see an inexpensive and effective way to lower heating costs and improve global sustainability. If you are interested in purchasing a Stove Kit, they are available from vogelzang.com, and from Maxi Container. The steel drum you can buy directly from Skolnik. If you should choose to make a Barrel Stove, eliminate the possibility of pressure building inside the drum by removing (unscrewing) all closure plugs before starting construction. After construction, before reinstalling the plugs, remove the rubber plug gaskets as they are likely to burn. Ernst — thank you for sharing your project with us, and for letting us share it with our readers.

Wine by the Bottle or Tap?

November 9th, 2010 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

We have all heard of wine sold by the bottle, but by tap? At Out the Door, a small chain of restaurants in San Francisco, they are now serving 4 wines drawn from pressurized taps behind the bar. Served from reusable stainless steel barrel-kegs, the producers save the cost of the bottle, cork and carton. Another benefit, is that the wine always tastes fresh. Tap systems utilize an inert gas, like nitrogen, to push the wine through the lines. Being inert, the gas does not react with the wine; in fact it protects the wine for weeks against oxidation. The irony of this trend, is that it is an old idea that is new again. Just after prohibition American wineries often supplied restaurants with wine in oak barrels instead of bottles. With sustainability becoming a hot button issue for wineries and restaurants, the stainless steel wine barrel-keg offers a closed loop system with essentially zero waste. Look at the options of the Skolnik Stainless Steel Wine Drums to determine if a tap, rather than bottle, might improve your customer’s bottom line.

Skolnik Breaks Ground on Facility Improvements and Expansion

October 13th, 2010 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff

On Monday, October 11th, 2010, we broke ground on the first of a multi-phased plan to improve our flow of production, warehouse operations and receiving and shipping facilities. In conjunction with the City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund, we have received a grant that will partially cover the expense to make these improvements. Phase 1 will include the construction of 3 new loading docks at our Receiving Warehouse. The addition of these docks will greatly increase the speed and ease of incoming raw material deliveries. In Phase 1, we also will be leasing additional warehouse space that will be used for inventory of our distribution and shipping products. Plans are for Phase 1 to be completed by the end of November. Phase 2 will include the extension and complete dedication of our internal docks for shipping. Until now, both shipping and receiving were from this single location. With regard to increasing our production capabilities, we will be opening up more manufacturing space to finishing, packing and shipping. We expect Phase 2 to be completed by New Years. The goal is increased production capacity, reduced manufacturing stress, reduced lead times and increasing our (already high) on-time shipping performance. It’s all good!

See Photo.

Closure Instruction Requirements Modified by PHMSA

October 13th, 2010 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety

Seeming to receive ongoing attention from the DOT, the Closure Instruction requirements have been modified. With regard to Closure Instructions, 49 CFR 178.2(c)(1)(i) was revised to specify that the closure instructions “must provide for a consistent and repeatable means of closure that is sufficient to ensure the packaging is closed in the same manner as it was tested.” This modification seeks to further encourage packaging manufacturers, resellers and shippers to read and understand the requirements of proper closure. Proper closure is the most critical element of insurance that a dangerous goods package performs as tested. With revised versions of the Code of Federal Regulations printed annually taking into account regulation changes that are effective as of October 1 of each particular year, PHMSA has chosen October 1, 2010, as the effective date for this regulatory enhancement. Those affected should ensure they are in compliance on the date the requirements take effect. Follow these links for more Closure Instruction information and to check out our highly acclaimed Closure Instruction videos.