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

Archive for March, 2018

What Makes Our Stainless Steel Process Drums So Stainless?

March 29th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the hero to industries that require sturdy, dependable, sanitary products to keep materials clean and safe for human consumption. It’s in our kitchens and on our dinner tables, needles are crafted out of it, as are surgical implants. At Skolnik, we produce stainless steel, crevice-free, seamless process drums, perfect for personal care and pharmaceutical products or on your food processing line.

But what is it that makes stainless steel…. stainless? Why is it good for handling food? And what is the difference between “304” and “316” type steels?

First, the science behind the steel. Steel is an attractive material in general because it’s lightweight while maintaining excellent strength. The down side to regular steel is that has a tendency to pass on a metallic taste, and more importantly, it corrodes quite easily. Exposed to any amount of moisture, steel generates iron oxide and, over time, regular steel rusts away.

The solution, however, starts with one element: chromium. The same element used in making your car wheels shiny is also the key to making stainless steel work. By smelting a steel alloy that involves at least 10.5% Chromium, the resulting metal spontaneously generates a microscopic layer of chrome oxide, an inert, self-repairing film that protects the metal below. Thus, manufacturers such as ourselves are able take advantage of the strength and durability of steel, while resisting much of the corrosion and unpleasant taste that plague many other metals. This makes it a great material for food-safe applications.

Just what qualifies for “food-safe” though? According to the FDA, “materials that are used in the construction of utensils and food contact surfaces of equipment::

  • Must not allow the migration of ‘deleterious substances or impart colors, odors, or tastes’ to food […]
  • Be ‘durable, corrosion-resistant, and nonabsorbent’ […]
  • Possess sufficient ‘weight and thickness to withstand repeated warewashing’ […]
  • Be ‘finished to have a smooth, easily cleanable surface’ [and]
  • Have resistance to ‘pitting chipping crazing, scratching, scoring, distortion, and decomposition’.”

With chrome oxide perpetually preventing harm, stainless steel is up for the food-safe task, which is why we use in such products as our process drums. It’s sturdiness and ability to withstand sanitation processes while resisting passing on unwanted substances makes it ideal to store food-safe products.

Now, all stainless steel is not made equal. While a major component may be chromium, there are many variations the chemical composition of the alloy, each with their advantages and disadvantages. For example, there is 18/8, named for its 18% chromium and 8% nickel composition. At Skolnik, we use types 304 and 316. 304 has the same 18% chromium, 8% nickel mix that 18/8 has, but 316 has 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% mollybdenum. While 304 is more cost effective and plenty corrosion-resistant, the addition of mollybdenum to 316 helps fight against corrosive salts, something 304 is not as good at resisting.

Which type of drum you use is going to depend on what you need them for, and we are more than happy to help you find the right fit for your project, but no matter which type you go with, if you buy from Skolnik you’ll be getting high quality, food-grade products made out of the best stainless steel that will keep you and your customers safe.

 

And now, Lithium Battery Smuggling!

March 27th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleges that on February 22, 2017, two passengers affiliated with the J&J Transportation Group of Miami, offered three checked bags containing hundreds of lithium ion batteries to American Airlines for shipment by air from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The shipment included 318 lithium ion batteries as well as 85 cell phones and 11 laptop computers that contained lithium ion batteries. FAA proposed a $63,750 civil penalty against J&J Tech for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations. American Airlines workers at Miami International Airport discovered the shipment during checked baggage screening.

The FAA alleges J&J Tech Group offered, through checked baggage, a greater number of lithium batteries than were allowed by the regulations. Moreover, regulations prohibit offering these batteries as cargo on a passenger-carrying aircraft.

The FAA further alleges that the shipments were not accompanied by a shipper’s declaration of dangerous goods and were not properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled or in the proper condition for shipment. Additionally, the agency alleges J&J Tech Group failed to ensure that each of its employees received required hazardous materials training, and failed to provide emergency response information with the shipment.

DOT & OSHA Release Joint Video on Hazmat Communications.

March 20th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) jointly produced and rolled out a YouTube video that provides clarity on the differing agency labeling requirements to communicate the dangers of hazardous materials in transportation (DOT) and in the workplace (OSHA). Both agencies are responsible for enforcing distinct and separate safety standards regarding the appropriate labeling of chemical hazards through PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard 2012. Click here to view the video on YouTube. Consider this video for use in HazMat Training.

Coopers Hawk Announces New 125,000 Square Foot Winery Outside of Chicago

March 13th, 2018 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a lifestyle brand that was ranked as the 34th largest winery in the US by Wine Business Monthly in its annual ranking this year, is pleased to announce the successful expansion and relocation of its winery to Woodridge, Illinois. The state-of-the-art winery, located at 9016 Murphy Road, is nearly triple the size of its former facilities and is designed to keep pace with the company’s rapid growth and 300,000-member-and-growing Wine Club while maintaining stringent standards for quality.“The winery is the lifeblood of the Cooper’s Hawk experience,” says Tim McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk CEO and Founder. “While the new facility was designed to increase capacity, our primary focus is to maintain our hands-on approach to winemaking as we grow. This expansion enhances our ability to serve Wine Club members and guests by enabling continuous innovation while supporting collaborative Wine of the Month initiatives with the world’s leading vineyards, winemakers and culinary taste-makers.

The 125,000-square-foot winery supports an initial production capacity of approximately 685,000 cases, with significant room to grow, and includes a 60,000-square-foot warehouse that can store approximately 300,000 cases. The company’s wine output has increased by nearly 40 percent in the last three years, and has more than doubled since the former facility opened in Countryside Illinois in 2010. The increased demand is owing to the opening of 30 restaurants in eight states over a span of 12 years, coupled with the related expansion of its Wine Club, which is the largest in the US. When McEnery opened his first restaurant in in Orland Park, Illinois in 2005, the winery was located in the lower level of the venue. Cooper’s Hawk Winery ferments and ages wine from some of the best vineyards across the globe, which enables restaurant guests and Wine Club members to try classic domestic varietals, as well as those from countries like Chile, Argentina, France and Italy — all at a reasonable price point. In addition to producing nearly 50 varietals, the winery produces twelve unique Wines of the Month every single year. Cooper’s Hawk has won over 400 wine awards, including various Platinum, Double Gold, Gold, and “Best of Show” awards in numerous national and international wine competitions. Not far from Cooper’s Hawk, check out the Stainless Steel Wine Barrels at Skolnik!