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

Archive for 2019

Who Moved My Wine?

May 14th, 2019 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Writing in the “Wine Economist”, Mike Veseth discusses the varying approaches to selling wine in a retail environment. Mike asks: “What’s the best way to organize supermarket products to facilitate consumer purchases?” He goes on to observe that “Over in the canned vegetable aisle, the system is pretty simple. All the canned green beans there. All the canned corn here. Easy to find what you want. Easy to compare. Over in the breakfast cereal aisle an entirely different geography applies. The corn flakes are found here, there, and elsewhere, not all in one spot. That’s because most of the products are organized by producer. All the Post cereals here, all the Chex products over there”.

I travel a lot, and am struck by how much variety there is in how wine stores and supermarkets display their wines. Even my favorite hometown supermarket often moves an entire section, for no apparent reason, prompting my exasperation: who moved my wine? Mike has some interesting thoughts: “I have been trying to figure out what works best for wine for quite some time, but I am still a bit stumped. The wine wall, the name I have given to the space where wines are put on display, probably has the greatest number of SKUs of any single section of an upscale grocery store. You will find 1000-2000 in many stores today and the big box alcohol superstores like Total Wine have about 5000 wine choices at any given time.”

In a book that Mike wrote in 2011, “Wine Wars”, he makes the following observation about “wine walls”: “The domestic wines are often arranged like the canned veg aisle — all the Zinfandel here, all the Pinot Noir there. Imports are mapped like the United Nations. France, Italy, Germany, and so on. Sometimes groups of countries get lumped together (Spain + Portugal, Chile + Argentina). I have seen the entire southern hemisphere reduced to a couple of shelves. There is often a sort of Siberia over in the corner for “other” wines, sweet, fortified, alcohol-free, kosher, organic, and so on. Sparkling wines from wherever are all collected together in one place, something that is often true of Rosé wines, too. Alternative packaging rates its own section with box wine and now also canned wines holding forth. You will also find smaller wine displays here and there in the store — near the cheese, meat, fish, and deli counters, for example. Wine, wine, everywhere. Organized chaos!”

And maybe it is no surprise either that some of the stores that sell the most wine are the ones that keep it simple like Trader Joe’s and Costco. Costco, which sells more wine than any other U.S. retailer, intentionally limits the number of wines available at any moment, changes stock frequently, keeps prices low, and uses a very simple system. There are more expensive wines and less expensive wines. There are red, white, pink, and sparkling wines. It’s the Rolling Stones system, really. You can’t always get what you want at Costco, in terms of a particular wine, but you can usually get what you need. The wine flies out the door.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, we believe that selecting the right wine barrel should be easy. Our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Move Over It’s the Law

April 23rd, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

If your car has ever broken down or you have had a flat tire, being stranded on the side of a road, can be very dangerous. Cars and trucks speeding by just inches away leaves too little margin for error and could easily result in a disastrous crash. America’s first responders — police, fire, EMT’s — face this peril every day in the line of duty. Also at risk are tow truck drivers, highway workers, utility workers and others whose jobs sometimes require that they park their vehicle on the roadway or the side of the road.

More than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed since 1997 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways. In fact, traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers. In 2017, 47 officers lost their lives in traffic-related incidents, with nine officers struck and killed outside their vehicles. Already in 2019, responder fatalities include 7 law enforcement officers. From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents. Many have been seriously injured. This is a tragedy and completely preventable.

To keep people from being killed or injured in these situations, all fifty states now have mandatory “Move Over” laws. Details vary, but assume that if you see a vehicle with emergency lights or flashers on, you are required to move over a lane and slow down.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will continue to raise awareness of this important issue through its ongoing safety campaign: Move Over. It’s the Law.

Every driver has a part to play in keeping first responders safe. When you see a first responder or other vehicle with flashing lights, please slow down, move over, and give them space to stay safe. “Move Over” is not only the law in all fifty states, but is also the courteous thing to do. And when you safely move over, you are signaling to the drivers behind you that they should follow your lead.

7A Type A Drums

April 16th, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

There are so many codes and designations regarding containers that it can be overwhelming to know, much less remember, which drums are designed and certified for which use. And, because the liability shifts between packager/shipper throughout the process, it’s important to know your organization is using the correct, compliant packaging. DOT 7A type drums have been tested according to 7A Type A regulations (IP 1, 2 and 3) and are intended for use as shipping and storage containers for permissible radioactive materials.

For those wanting to ship Type A quantities of radioactive materials, the implementation of the 7A type A containment regulations was monumental. The regulation, initially proposed in the early 1970s, removed the ‘blanket’ authorization previously used for the materials and instead specified a DOT-7A, Type A general packaging specification. It detailed stricter more straight-forward requirements regarding the packaging itself as well as for keeping records around the compliance test results of the packages. The precision of the regulation chipped away at the margin of error around the storage and transportation of hazardous materials.

At Skolnik we offer 7A Type A drums in a variety of configurations and sizes. All of our 7A drums are made of carbon or 304, 316 and 409 stainless steel. We take great care to manufacture our products thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards require and to rigorously test the final products. We water spray, free drop, penetration and stack test our drums and our house test lab can even perform surrogate 7A Type A tests per your specifications. However, it should be noted, that it is the responsibility of the packager and shipper to make certify that the package meets all applicable requirements so we do not and can not certify this packaging as a DOT 7A Type A package.

Decoding the UN Marking on a Drum

April 15th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

Every UN certified drum has a “birthmark” but few shippers know the meaning of these markings. In accordance with UN recommendations, certified markings indicate the performance rating and test information about a steel drum and must be applied in accordance with CFR 178.3(a)(3). For drums over 100 Litres (26 US Gallons) there are a number of ways that the marking can be applied including stamping, embossing, burning and printing. For these size drums, there must be one complete set of durable marks on the side or non-removable top head of a closed head drum, and a second, partial mark, embossed permanently on the bottom head. The purpose of having the two marks is that once filled, the drum will sit, primarily, on its bottom head, and the UN test information needs to be readily viewable for the user at the side or top mark. The permanent partial bottom mark must conform to the application options indicated earlier. However, the side or top mark is required to be durable rather than permanent. Therefore, it is common and acceptable for the durable mark to be printed on a self-adhesive label, which is attached to the side of the drum. The characters on the label and the permanent embossment are subject to the size and sequence requirements as specified in 178.3(4) and 178.503(a)(1) through (a)(6) and (a)(9)(i). For a breakdown of the individual marks, you can link to the following: Open Head Solid Marking, Open Head Liquid Marking, Closed Head Marking, Seamless Marking.