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

Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Open Head vs. Tight Head Steel Drums At A Glance

July 20th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

There are numerous different configurations of an industrial container. When determining which container is appropriate for a specific use, businesses consider the container’s material, gauge or thickness of the material, size, shape, linings, closures, head style, and many more factors. Some of these factors come with a multitude of options, for head style, it is just a choice between two: open head or tight head.

So what is the difference between an open and tight head drum?

An open head container, also called 1A2 drums, has a fully removable cover secured with a Lever lock or bolt ring closure. Tight head drums, also known as closed head or 1A1 drums, have a non-removable top. One can only access the container via a 2” and ¾” plug in the top of the container.

On a tight head drum, the head is an integral part of the drum construction — both ends are flanged and permanently sealed. Because of the limited access to the contents, tight head drums are often used for liquids, especially lower viscosity liquids. For example, Skolnik’s stainless steel wine drums are tight head containers.

Open head drums, on the other hand, are used for a wide array of contents. Skolnik’s lever lock closure drums are UN rated for solids and liquids, particularly thicker liquids such as soil absorbents, syrups, glues, oils, etc. Open head drums are typically used in situations where people need access to the contents, either for frequent addition or extraction.

Skolnik Industries manufactures both open head and tight head steel drums in over 500 configurations, always to UN and DOT certification standards. If you are unsure what style head or closure your contents require, don’t hesitate to ask a Skolnik representative.

DOT Develops New Free Online CFR Mobile App

July 18th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

Ever find yourself in a remote location, needing to verify a CFR regulation? Now there’s a free App for that!
In its continuing efforts to improve safety and public access to the latest transportation regulations, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today made available a new online Code of Federal Regulations (oCFR) mobile application – App. The oCFR mobile app is a simplified version of the web-based application which was released to the public in March of 2016. The oCFR app was released to both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store for use on iOS and Android mobile devices. The new oCFR app provides the first-ever mobile access to search, view, and navigate PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations in 49 CFR parts 100-180 for the classifying, handling, and packaging of hazardous materials by highway, rail, aircraft, and vessel. This app also provides the first-ever mobile access to PHMSA’s Pipeline Safety Regulations in 49 CFR parts 190-199, which provide the federal minimum safety standards for the design, construction, operation and maintenance, and spill response planning for pipeline and liquefied natural gas facilities involved in the transportation of natural gas and hazardous liquids within the United States. The mobile app is also unique because it allows users to navigate regulations at the paragraph level. To get the App, go to the App Store on your smartphone, SEARCH for OCFR, and download. It’s free!

The Dangers of Transporting Precious “Live” Goods

June 27th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

On April 20, 2017, a special passenger arrived on a United Airlines flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O‘Hare. He was in good health and spirits the last time someone had checked on him a few hours before takeoff. But when it came time for him to change planes on the second leg of the journey, an attendant discovered that he had passed away.

His name was Simon, and he was an enormous rabbit, measuring 3 feet in length, from whiskers to cottontail.

The public outcry was instantaneous. While no definite cause of death was determined by press time, the owner of the rabbit, a U.K.-based animal breeder named Anette Edwards, demanded an explanation and later received an undisclosed sum for compensation for the loss of the animal. The breed, known as a Continental Giant, can be sold for more than $5,000.00! Simon’s father, in fact, is the holder of the world record for length, at more than 4 feet. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation figures, 35 animals died on board U.S. airlines in 2015. Of those, 14 died on United flights — the highest rate of any U.S. carrier.

The tragedy illustrated the paramount importance of the health of animals that are being transported by air, whether it is in the baggage compartment of a 767 passenger jet, where Simon was, or a climate-controlled, chartered freighter modified for carrying multiple large animals. Despite the public relations risk and the expense required to ensure the safety of animal transport, business is booming now for forwarders and carriers willing to serve this niche.

In an era where capturing specialty, high-value cargo can be the difference between profit and loss each quarter, the movement of livestock and exotic animal charters is an increasingly attractive option — especially when large mammals are involved.

Interest in animal transport is building not just because of the niche income but because of rumors that International Air Transport Association (IATA) may soon launch a new Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) program specially designed for Live Animals. While IATA officials would not comment publicly on a timeline for a CEIV-Live Animals certification, there have been discussions about how the program would work.

Should a CEIV-Live Animals standard emerge in the next few years, the physical proof of certification in safe handling methods could prove to be a lucrative accolade for a forwarder, a ground handler, or an entire airport community, to attract animal shippers who never want to hear another sad Simon story.

Safe Lithium Battery Containment

June 23rd, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News

Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used batteries in consumer electronics and medical devices today, and they have been exploding. For all of the benefits and conveniences, lithium batteries have offered consumers — higher power density, lower memory effect, long life — they have a number of downsides and risks. Their sensitivity can lead to an explosion and, for this reason, they are considered “dangerous goods” and are banned from commercial aircraft.

The result is a kink in the supply line and, for those who rely on medical devices powered by lithium batteries, more than a mild inconvenience. At present, these batteries are only permitted on cargo aircraft and cargo planes only fly to large airports. As a result, the batteries cannot get to their final destinations.

The world isn’t going to suddenly stop needing lithium ion batteries anytime soon, so this is a puzzle that needs a solution. But, you know what they say: Necessity is the mother of invention. Skolnik Industries and Labelmaster have been working together to devise a package that can safely contain spent lithium ion batteries for bulk transport. This overpack package would serve as a multi-pack solution for the batteries as well as a secondary spill containment measure should the batteries be compromised in transit.

While it is always a pleasure to work with our friends at Labelmaster, we’re eager to find a safe and strong solution to this problem. The project cannot be completed until the DOT releases its final testing requirements for these package types, and, as with all Skolnik Industries products, this lithium battery-safe overpack container would be rigorously tested to meet all pertinent DOT regulations.

Once the regulations are set, we look forward to providing shippers and manufacturers with a safe, efficient solution to lithium battery containment, and helping alleviate the delay for those who need battery replacements for their medical devices.