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

Archive for March, 2019

Carbon Steel on the Rise, Stainless Steel Still a Favorite

March 28th, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

When it comes to industrial containers and shipping, there’s a reason stainless steel drums are a favorite. Their strength and versatility make them the perfect fit for most uses, materials and industries. But, while they are a justifiably fabulous and reliable container, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for other materials.

Carbon steel drums have been gaining popularity as of late, particularly for transporting and storing liquids. Carbon steel, or carbon steel IBC as it’s known in the market, makes for a stackable and easily moved container. It is impact resistant, durable and works well in the non-corrosive chemical environment, often used for the storage and transportation of oil and lubricants.

Just like stainless steel, carbon steel is reusable and allows for easy filling, dispensing and sanitation. Made up of iron and carbon, carbon is the principal hardening and strengthening material in the steel and is thus responsible for it the material’s hardness and durability.

According to current market trends, the carbon steel industrial bulk packaging market has been growing steadily over the last few years and it expected to continue on its current trajectory. Measured against all other popular bulk packaging products, IBCs, stainless steel and carbon steel, have exhibited the fastest growth rate.

While Carbon steel IBC is lightweight and often less expensive than stainless steel IBC, it is also more susceptible to rust, so consider that when determining the correct material for your materials.

NTSB the 2019 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

March 26th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The National Transportation Safety Board announced its 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, during a recent event held at the National Press Club. First issued in 1990, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements serves as the agency’s primary advocacy tool to help save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce property damage resulting from transportation accidents.

The 10 items on the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements are:

  • Eliminate Distractions
  • End Alcohol and Other Drug Impairment
  • Ensure the Safe Shipment of Hazardous Materials
  • Fully Implement Positive Train Control
  • Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes
  • Improve the Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations
  • Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems in All New Highway Vehicles
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Require Medical Fitness — Screen for and Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Strengthen Occupant Protection

“The 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List advocates for 46 specific safety recommendations that can and should be implemented during these next two years nd It also features broad, longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public. Read more…

Shippers Must Have Closure Instructions on File

March 19th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

By now, most of our Newsletter readers know that for all HazMat packagings, the packaging manufacturer is required by CFR 178.2(c) to deliver Closure Instructions with each package sold. Recently, a customer informed us that one of their other suppliers for a hazmat packaging refused to give them a Closure Instruction and UN Certification, claiming it was “proprietary information.” This is completely untrue and puts a shipper in danger of being non-compliant with DOT! Furthermore, if the shipper chooses to close theirs package without following the specific Closure Instructions from the manufacturer, the shipper would also be liable for a DOT non-compliance violation. Closure Instructions for steel drums require that the closing of a steel drum be translated into a technical instruction. These instructions are written without any DOT guidelines but must indicate the measures necessary in order to properly secure a package for transport. DOT does expect Closure Instructions to include some reference to torque capacities. These measures may include; specially calibrated tools; measurements; torque; and other familiar references. Because UN certified drums in the US must be re-tested annually, be sure that your Steel Drum supplier is providing current Closure Instructions that meet the requirements of CFR 178.2(c), and that you use the tools necessary to comply with these instructions. Some tools may require scheduled recalibrations. Lastly, verify that the Closure Instructions are being followed at each shipping location. Click here to verify that you have current SKOLNIK Closure Instructions for all your SKOLNIK containers.

The New Dynamic is “Bio”

March 12th, 2019 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

In an article published in “Seven Fifty Daily”, Hannah Wallace writes that “Biodynamic wines are gaining visibility—and popularity—in the wine world. Though they still make up only a small part of global wine production, there are more than 80 Demeter-certified biodynamic winegrowers in the United States, according to Demeter USA, the country’s first certifying body for chemical-free agriculture. There are nearly 500 such winegrowers in Europe.”

Rudy Marchesi, Demeter USA Board chair, states: “More than ever, people are becoming aware that conventional agriculture is using things they don’t want in their beverages or on their table—like glyphosate. So we’re seeing a real uptick in interest in biodynamic wines and we’re also seeing a greater awareness of how biodynamics impact the quality and expressiveness of wines.”

Most wine industry professionals are familiar with the basic tenets of biodynamics, including precepts like the prohibition against the use of pesticides and artificial herbicides in the vineyard. Growers must also generate as much fertility as possible on site (therefore, the presence of animals and the use of composting are crucial), and they must make use of nine biodynamic “preparations” to help promote soil and plant health. These preparations are made of such ingredients as cow manure, herbs, and chopped-up oak bark and are sprayed onto the vines and the compost pile.

Demeter-certified wine cannot contain any additives, either, except for minuscule amounts of sulfur; bentonite clay and organic or biodynamic egg whites or milk are also permitted during processing. “The biodynamic wine certification is the closest thing to a natural-wine certification,” says Dan Rinke, winemaker at Johan Vineyards in Rickreall, Oregon.

This first wave of biodynamic winemakers put Alsace, France, on the map as a hotbed of the movement—which it remains today.

In the 1960s and ’70s, two biodynamic consultants spread the philosophy to winemakers in the United States: Alan Chadwick and his student Alan York. Chadwick was from the U.K. His travels led him to San Francisco in early 1967. York worked and studied biodynamics under Chadwick at Round Valley, as did Jonathan and Katrina Frey. The Freys met in Covelo in 1976 and founded Frey Vineyards four years later—all 350 acres of which are biodynamic.

York went on to become one of the world’s leading biodynamic wine consultants, helping to convert to biodynamic practices wineries such as Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California; Bonterra in Ukiah, California; Cowhorn in Jacksonville, Oregon; and Cooper Mountain in Beaverton, Oregon. and Il Palagio, the Tuscan winery owned by Sting and Trudie Styler.

“You could taste the difference right away,” says Benziger. “Our first biodynamic wine, Tribute, was a beautiful, terroir-driven wine.”

Utilizing biodynamics or another method? Here at Skolnik Industries, 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.

A Legacy of Information-Sharing Among Steel Drum Manufacturers

March 1st, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

The steel drum has been the favorite container for shipping bulk cargo for a century, so the steel drum manufacturing industry has been around a long while as well. In fact, there are over 129 steel drum manufacturers in the United States today. But only one has a decades-long reputation for sharing and spreading their expertise: Skolnik.

Skolnik Industries is a steel drum manufacturer that has become synonymous with steel drum excellence. That reputation stems not only from the quality of our products and team, but from our long-standing commitment to sharing pertinent information with our industry and our partners. First in a physical newsletter, then an email, and now also through years and years of blog posts and articles, we’ve proudly published regular updates on policies and regulations, informational pieces on products and trends, and anything else our colleagues and even competition might find pertinent to their work.

On our website, you can find a PDF of the first ever bulletin of the National Barrel & Drum Association, an organization formed to keep steel drum manufacturers up to date about changes that affect operations and other industry news. This bulletin, dating back to 1943, reflects the same commitment to information sharing that we hold near and dear to our mission, culture and values as a player in the steel drum manufacturing industry. It calls members to “send in any news that [they] feel will be helpful to others.” A call we’ve been proud to answer.

It’s amazing how our industry and the shipping and transportation industries have evolved and grown since steel drums first started being used for industrial containment. We are humbled to have had the opportunity to play such an active and collaborative role thus far and look forward to continuing to share and contribute to the next century of steel drum manufacturing.

Whether you just found us today or have long trusted Skolnik for quality products and information, we wanted to thank you all for reading. We look forward to sharing news and information with you for years to come.