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

Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Shipper Alert for New Packaging Approval Numbers in 2018

December 26th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

PHMSA issued a notice to holders of manufacturer and reconditioner approvals that they are proposing to terminate all M-Number and R-Number approvals that were previously issued without an expiration date that those approvals will be terminated one year after publication of this notice, i.e. November 17, 2018. If a holder wishes to continue use of either of these approvals, they must show why the approval should not be terminated or apply for a modification of their approval prior to the effective date. If an approval is terminated, the holder must submit a request for reconsideration within 20 days of the termination.
M-Number Approvals are issued to companies that manufacture or recondition packaging. An M-Number is used as part of the packaging certification mark in place of the company’s name and address, as authorized in § 178.503. R-Number Approvals have not been issued for a period of time, but are active and allowed to continue to be used. PHMSA states that standardization of the M-Number and R-Number Approvals will allow them to regularly review the approval documents and track changes, ensuring that the information submitted by the holders remains current and accurate.
Current holders of R-Number Approvals will be issued M-Number approvals, but will be allowed to continue to use their previously issued R-Number. All new and reissued M-Number Approvals will be issued with a 5-year expiration date.

Shipper’s should also maintain validation of their packaging manufacturer and reconditioner expiration dates.
Effective date of termination of these approvals is: November 17, 2018

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!