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

Archive for 2015

Savannah hosts Reusable Packagers

November 24th, 2015 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

Surrounded by Live Oak trees and alongside the Savannah River, the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) members met from Oct 28-31 (2015) for their Annual Conference. Piggybacked with IPANA’s (Industrial Packaging Alliance of North America) Annual, the manufacturers and reconditioners of reusable packaging had 3 days of intense presentations and product group updates. Highlighting the presentations were Gardner Carrick of The Manufacturing Institute, who presented an in depth look of the issues effecting today’s manufacturing workforce. Karen Heinold of Potomac Communications brought B2B Social Media opportunities to the level of packaging and manufacturing opportunities. Mr. Glenn Wicks of The Wicks Group broke out the legal procedures, expectations and company performance for an OSHA inspection. The most informative presentation was given Dr. Magdy El-Sibaie, Associate Administrator of the DOT’s Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (PHMSA). Dr. El-Sibaie, who addressed the members with an update of the initiative currently underway by PHMSA, a review of their validation programs, and an update regarding inspection criteria. Dr. El-Sibaie then offered a second "round table chat" in which he participated in a casual dialogue with Paul Rankin, RIPA President, and all members of the Association. In the final days, product group meetings for steel drums and IBC’s concluded the session. About 200 people participated in this conference which also included a Riverboat dinner on the Savannah River. 2016 will be in Austin, Texas.

Skolnik’s Reza Tanha featured in Sports Illustrated Walk-on by Kansas State

November 17th, 2015 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Skolnik Newsletter

Lots of programs pride themselves on being walk-on friendly. But the walk-on program at Kansas State is part of the team’s identity, and has been since Coach Bill Snyder took over in 1989 and engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history. From his two lengthy stints as coach at K-State, from 1989 to 2005 and from 2009 to the present), it’s tough for Snyder to pick a favorite walk-on story. His favorite is about a linebacker in whom no one believed. No one, that is, except Bill Snyder.

Reza Tanha, currently Skolnik’s VP of Engineering and Operations, was a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Gridley, Kan., population 300. When Snyder got to K-State he told his assistants that he didn’t want to know which players had the team’s 45 scholarships, or who was on aid versus who wasn’t. It was a brief conversation that left a lasting impression, "I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you," Tanha told Snyder. "I haven’t played much, but you’ve got me into three games so far—and I know I’m not a very good player. But you treat us just like everyone else."

Tanha played just the 1989 season before graduating. Each weekend, he unfurls his Wildcats flag, pulls on his K-State T-shirt and finds his team on TV. Almost three decades removed from playing, he feels a special connection to every walk-on who comes through the program. At most schools, the walk-on label signifies a perceived lack of talent. In Manhattan, it’s an elevated status of sorts, a special fraternity. Eight years ago, Tanha—now living in a Chicago suburb—returned to Kansas to go turkey hunting. While there he accompanied a fellow K-State graduate to a local banquet where Snyder was the keynote speaker. Tanha approached Snyder before the event to say hello, and stuck out his hand. "Hey, coach, you probably don’t remember me, but I’m …"
"Reza Tanha," Snyder interjected. "Linebacker. It’s so good to see you!"

Read the entire Sports Illustrated interview about Coach Snyder and Reza

Oak In A Bottle

November 10th, 2015 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

As a Chicago based manufacturer of stainless steel wine barrels, we are always excited to see other Chicago companies bringing innovations to the world of wine and spirits. The latest innovation brings oak aging behind the bar or at home, and it just got a whole lot quicker. Joel Paglione of Chicago, has created Oak Bottle, a wooden vessel with a charred interior that lets you age wine, beer and spirits in two to 48 hours. It’s so efficient that within two hours, you’ve added oak flavor to the wine and it hasn’t over-oxidated and the wine hasn’t gone flat yet. It makes it taste as if it’s been aged for years in an oak barrel. Many winemakers believe that what makes a truly great wine great is more a matter of what occurs in the vineyard than what happens inside the winery or distillery. We agree, the winemaker or distiller can only highlight flavors and aromas that already exist, not invent flavor. That is what the art of oaking is all about. For centuries, winemakers and distillers have used oak to bring out the best in wine and spirits. The biggest problem aside from the cost of oak barrels is the amount of time it takes for the oaking process to work. This is where the Oak Bottle comes in. Using a simple volume to surface area equation it’s easy to understand how a vessel with more surface area touching less volume can infuse the wine or spirit quicker. The goal of the Oak Bottle is to make the oak infusion process simple, fast, and cost effective so that just about anyone can become a winemaster from the comfort of their own home. The traditional use of 59 gallon oak barrels for wine making was impractical and expensive. In the past only the best winemakers had access to cooperages who made the best oak barrels. Oak Bottle is currently running a Kick Starter campaign to ramp up manufacturing. For more details or to purchase an Oak Bottle, visit their website: http://oakbottle.com/

Choosing the Right Drum: Hazardous Materials

October 29th, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Most materials shipped or stored throughout the world are contained in a steel drum. This includes hazardous materials or dangerous goods. And at Skolnik, we take proper hazmat containment seriously.

Choosing the right drum for the job is always important, but when it comes to hazardous materials, that importance may be tenfold.

There are many questions to consider when determining the proper container for hazardous material:

  • What type of steel should I use?
  • What size drum do I need?
  • Should the drum be lined?
  • If so, what type of liner should I use? Epoxy-phenolic, 100% clear phenolic or pigmented phenolic?
  • How will the materials be transported?
  • What requirements must be met to safely and legally transport my container on train, truck, sea or air?
  • What certifications does my container require? UN certification? OSHA? EPA? DOT? All of the above?

With so many things to consider when shipping or storing hazardous goods, it can be daunting to get the job done. But at Skolnik, we can help. When you’re shipping hazardous materials, it is your responsibility as the shipper that your contents are properly classified, packaged and labeled, so take care and ask questions to ensure that we can provide you with the right container for your needs. Asking questions up front can save time, money and lives when it comes to the transport or storage of your materials.

Reduce risk and avoid incident with proper hazmat containment. Talk to a Skolnik Industries representative to ensure your contents, facilities, transport vehicles, employees and anyone who may come in contact with your materials are kept safe and protected throughout your containers storage or transport.