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

Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Paris to Ban Gas Cars

November 28th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

Planning to be a leader in environmental protection, the City of Paris authorities announced a plan to banish all petrol- and diesel-fueled cars from the world’s most visited city by 2030. The move marks an acceleration in plans to wean Parisians off gas-guzzlers and switch to electric vehicles in a city often obliged to impose temporary bans due to surges in particle pollution in the air. Paris City Hall stated that France had already set a target date of 2040 for an end to cars dependent on fossil fuels and that this plan also required speedier phase-outs in large cities.

The French capital, which will host the Olympic Games in the summer of 2024 and was host city for the latest worldwide pact on policies to tame global warming, has already been eyeing an end to diesel cars in the city by the time of the Olympics. Already under attack over the establishment of no-car zones, Paris City Hall has established car-free days and fines for drivers who enter the city in cars that are more than 20 years old. Downplaying the use of the word “ban,” the plan is designed to introduce a feasible deadline by which combustion-engine cars would be phased out.

There are about 32 million household cars in France, where the population is about 66 million.Many Parisians do not own cars, relying on extensive public transport systems and, increasingly, fast-burgeoning networks offering bikes, scooters and low-pollution hybrid engine cars for short-term rental. The ban on petrol-fueled, or gasoline-engine vehicles as they are known in the United States, marks a radical escalation of anti-pollution policy. Many other cities in the world are considering similar moves and China, the world’s biggest polluter after the United States, recently announced that it would soon be seeking to get rid of combustion-engine cars too.

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New Regulations For U.S. Food Supply as The Food and Safety Modernization Act goes into Effect  

October 26th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Stainless Steel

The agricultural and manufacturing world is facing big changes as the rules set forth for the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) take effect in full, after the September deadline for mandatory compliance. The new standards will affect every part of the food processing and supply chain, including containers such as stainless steel process drums. FSMA According to the FDA, it will be the “most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years” and it “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”

Passed in 2011, companies began to abide by the act last September, after all of its rules were finalized. Now, the act’s year-long grace period is over, and the prevention-focus changes are officially the new status quo.

FSMA starts at the food facilities, including controls to evaluate hazards there, then requires the facilities to specify what steps, monitoring, and actions will be put into place to prevent them.

It then address moving the products with the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule, a series of new regulations on vehicles and transportation equipment, operations, training, and records for the agricultural companies. One element of the rule is that, “The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe.”

Within FSMA there are a number of large, expensive adjustments that companies are making to how they operate, and it has thoroughly changed the landscape of the agricultural industry. For the first time though, the FDA will have a legislative mandate to require science-based preventive controls across the entire food supply, which seeks to reduce the frequency of foodborne diseases. Hopefully, the cost is worth the gain.

Skolnik is examining the impact of the FSMA on our products and company. At this time, our crevice-free stainless steel process drums are used extensively by our customers with exceptional demands for cleanliness.

Like the Cubs, Labelmaster Hits a Home Run with DGS XII!

October 24th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

Now viewed by the Dangerous Goods (DG) community as the best DG gathering of the year, Labelmaster hosted it’s 12th DG Symposium this past September at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. The Symposium has become a signature event for bringing together anyone involved in the training, transporting or handling of dangerous goods. Attendees included shippers of dangerous goods, suppliers to the dangerous goods industry, regulators from US, International regulatory agencies and interested parties that are taking their first steps into the world of hazmat transportation.

The program opened on Wednesday, Sept 6th with a welcome by Alan Schoen, President of Labelmaster, and was followed by Peter Mackay (HCB) and Rob Finn (Labelmaster) presenting the results of their international benchmarking survey of DG World Compliance. Speakers from the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) included Shane Kelly and Marc Nichols.

International regulatory agencies were represented by:
ICAO — International Civil Aviation Organization — Dave Brennan
IATA — International Air Transport Association — Dave Brennan and James Wyatt
IMDG — International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code — Jeff Hart
ADR — Agreement Concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road — Kristel Vermeersch
GHS — Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling — Ben Barrett

In addition to global regulatory updates, private industry and many DG Trainers also participated in topical presentations including numerous Lithium Battery discussions, new DG technology and new trends in DG automation. A highlight of the event was the Labelmaster Fest where guests received a surprise performance of the Chicago Blues Brothers.

By far, one of the most memorable take aways from DGS is the brilliantly executed DG video interview with children at a playground. Titled “Kids Say the DG’est Things,” take a few minutes and enjoy children’s answers to all things DG!

FAA Reconsiders Laptops in Luggage

September 19th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

As a result of recent security measures which involved the potential of prohibiting the carriage of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) larger than a cellphone or smartphone in the cabin on flights from certain points of departure into the U.S.; one option was for passengers to place their large PEDs into their checked baggage if they wanted to transport them on these flights. This option would have created an unexpected increase in the number of lithium battery-powered devices in the cargo compartment of passenger aircraft. It was noted that there was little research data available on the behavior, effects and risks associated with PEDs being placed in a passenger’s checked baggage. Except for loose batteries and e-cigarettes in checked baggage, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not have significant incident data on passenger PEDs in checked baggage. To address the lack of sufficient research data on the behavior and effects of a large number of PEDs placed in the cargo hold on passenger aircraft, the Fire Safety Branch at the FAA Technical Center conducted tests to assess the potential hazards from the carriage of laptop computers and other large PEDs in checked baggage. Included was research to identify possible risk mitigation options. The objectives of the testing were to: 1) Determine the relative effectiveness of the cargo compartment Halon 1301 fire suppression system against the potential fire scenarios involving devices containing lithium batteries now carried as checked baggage; and 2) Determine whether there are potential mitigation options, such as the use of enhanced packaging to contain flames and gas from spreading outside a package.

The specific tests reflect cargo compartment loading procedures in use by air carriers affected by the security policy. Discussion: The FAA Tech Center has conducted tests utilizing fully charged laptop computers inside suitcases. The suitcases were all soft sided but varied in the density and types of items inside, as well as, the construction of the outer case. A heater was placed against a lithium ion cell in the battery of a laptop to force it into thermal runaway. The results of this test condition yielded the most troubling results. As a result of this, it was concluded that if a PED is packed in a suitcase with permitted hazardous materials and a thermal runaway event occurs, there is the potential for the resulting event to exceed the capabilities of the airplane to cope with it. Although most consumer PEDs (including but not limited to cell phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDA) devices, electronic games, tablets, laptop computers, cameras, camcorders, watches, calculators) containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, the FAA believes that there is a very low frequency of lithium battery-powered devices being voluntarily transported in checked baggage. The FAA’s belief is largely based on the understanding that most passengers prefer keeping their devices on their persons to use, during flight or to prevent loss or theft in transit. With regard to the safety risk posed by PEDs, the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (the Technical Instructions) recommend that these devices be carried in the cabin on the basis that, should a PED initiate a fire, the cabin crew can expeditiously identify the incident, take appropriate firefighting action, and monitor the device for possible re-ignition.

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