Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

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

Archive for 2013

What is a T Rated drum?

October 17th, 2013 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Salvage Drum

and why is it important?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations 173.3 ( c) (7), “a salvage packaging marked ‘T’ in accordance with applicable provisions in the UN recommendations may be used [in overpacking].”

Put simply, a T-rated drum is a Salvage Drum that has passed the T test according to UN standards, allowing it to hold liquid or solid materials. The Salvage Drum is designed for use with damaged, leaking and non-complaint packagings. Since 16 gauge (1.5mm) steel thickness, 85 gallon drums used in overpacking are usually given the T test; though other size drums can earn a T rating, but it is less common.  The test, and subsequent rating, were created to give shippers the confidence that if a Salvage Drum was used to overpack a damaged drum containing liquid, the damaged drum would be securely contained.

What is most important to know about the T rating is that although it is not federal law in America, many European countries require it for drums being used for overpacking.  If an 85 gallon salvage drum goes to, or ends up, anywhere in Europe it must have passed the T test and earned the proper rating to pass through customs.  A Salvage Drum without the T rating may not be considered compliant European countries without the proper rating.

At Skolnik, we put our 85 gallon salvage drums through the T test once a year as per regulation requires, but we can T test a drum, if requested, throughout the year.  The test, which is done in house, looks very similar to the liquid rating test for a 55 gallon steel drum.  The 85 gallon Salvage Drum is filled with water and lifted to the appropriate height before being dropped and free falling, in a calculated position, to the ground.  If the drum shows no sign of leaking it has officially passed the T test and earns the UN T rating.  If the drum were to fail the liquid test,  it still has the ability to be used as a solids only Salvage Drum.

Skolnik Introduces New Wine Barrel Sizes

October 11th, 2013 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

With the ever increasing need to respond quickly to changing capacity demands, having a variety of sizes of stainless steel wine barrels on hand allows a wine maker to respond rapidly to unanticipated storage situations. Traditionally, Skolnik has supplied the wine industry with stainless steel wine barrels ranging in size from 5 to 55 gallon. Now, in response to customer demand, Skolnik Industries is pleased to announce the addition of 85 and 110 gallon stainless steel wine barrels. Constructed of 16 gauge 304 stainless steel, these new wine barrels offer wine makers greater storage capacity, and they can still be used with a standard barrel rack. Both sizes are offered with several options for Tri-Clover fitting placement, whether in the body or top, wine makers can choose the fitting options that work best for their unique application. Another important feature of these wine barrels is the 100% weld around the exterior chimes. This robust welded construction provides for additional durability, longevity and the added security that the valuable contents remains unimpaired. The 85 and 110 gallon drums are the ideal solution for wine storage when space is at a premium and additional storage is needed at the last minute. For more information please contact Jason Snow at jason@skolnik.com.

Nellie Bly: Woman of Steel

October 10th, 2013 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Cool Stuff

Part One: The creation of Nellie Bly, Reporter


*This post is part of an ongoing spotlight biography on Nellie Bly, who is often credited with the creation of the first steel drum*

Born the third child of her father’s second wife, Elizabeth Cochran joined a wealthy prominent family of Pennsylvania in May of 1864. She was considered the most rebellious of Judge Cochran’s offspring, and was lovingly referred to as Pinky by her family. Unfortunately, at age six, Cochran lost her father, and the family was later forced to auction their mansion home. They fell into hard times and Cochran’s mother re-married another man, for financial security, who was a drunk and often abused the family.

Cochran stood up for her family and testified in court against her step-father. Her step-father’s abuse helped shape her desire for independence and at age 15 she went to school to become a teacher. Money was still too tight, and Cochran had to leave school and move to Pittsburgh with her mother where she helped run a boarding house.

Cochran had distant dreams of being a writer, but it wasn’t until a popular Pittsburgh columnist pen-named “Quiet Observer” wrote that women belonged in the home cooking, sewing, and raising children. He went on the say any woman working outside the home was “a monstrosity.” Thinking of all the woman she knew working in industrial Pittsburgh in order to survive, Cochran wrote an angry letter to the newspaper. Impressed with her writing, the newspaper hired Cochran and gave her the pen name ‘Nellie Bly.’

While at the newspaper, Bly wrote articles about the difficulties of poor working woman, calling for divorce law reformation, and did a series about factory girls in Pittsburgh. Regardless of her investigative tendencies, Bly was continually given stories about flowers and fashion to appear in the women’s section of the paper. When she had finally had enough, Bly left her boss a simple note:

“Dear Q.O, I’m off for New York. Look out for me. Bly.”

After six months of knocking on office doors, Bly found a job at Joseph Pulitzer’s “New York World” under the supervision of John Cockerill. Her first assigned story in New York was to write about the mentally ill housed at a larger institution in the city. She faked a sickness to gain entrance and came back 10 days later. Her story told of horrible conditions, beatings of patients, and meals that were served with rancid butter. The story stirred the public and politicians alike, which brought money and much needed reforms to the institution. By 23, Bly had started a new kind of undercover, investigative journalism that her peers referred to as ‘stunt reporting.’

Join us next month for the second installment of “Nellie Bly: Woman of Steel”

Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) Conference 2013

October 3rd, 2013 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Industry News

The Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) will be holding its annual Fall Conference in beautiful La Jolla, California this year from October 16-18.  Several sessions and programs will be joint events with IPANA (Industrial Packaging Alliance of North America), including a golf outing on Wednesday afternoon.  The event will include guest speakers, receptions, and many opportunities for companies in the industry to connect and stay ahead in the business.  Conference scheduled events will be held at Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, only a few minutes away from the downtown area.  The event promises to be an exciting opportunity for attendees to network with others in the industry as well as share valuable knowledge between each other.

RIPA became one of the first industrial packaging trade associations in North America with its foundation in 1942.  With the organization’s ability to stay at the forefront of legislative issues and legal matters at state and national levels, RIPA is considered a focal point for the industry.  As a board member of the International Confederation of Container Reconditioners (ICCR), RIPA helps American companies stay in the international loop through various forums including the International Standards Association.  Today RIPA represents 90% of the North American industry; its memberships boasts world leading manufacturers of steel, plastic, and fiber drums as well as packaging parts and accessories suppliers.

Skolnik Industries has been a member of RIPA for 50 years.  CEO, Howard Skolnik, said one of the many benefits of membership with the association is “keeping abreast with changing regulations and business trends involving industrial packaging.”  He also mentioned the important network opportunities RIPA offers as an additional benefit.

For more information about the upcoming conference, or what RIPA continues to do for the industry, visit the website.  See you in sunny SoCal.