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

Expect More From Our Drums Than Minimum Performance

November 5th, 2002 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN

The debate over appropriate metal thickness for steel drums has turned a corner as a result of our increased concerns about reducing risks and increasing safety. Since the adoption of Performance Oriented Standards, it has been up to the drum manufacturer to establish their own guidelines for the metal thickness used in their United Nations (UN) and US Department of Transportation (DOT) approved packaging. Often claiming that the metal thickness can be reduced and drums can still pass the certification tests, the thinner walled drum does not offer any margin of error for in-transit damage (which is the #1 reason for drum failure). Forever a proponent of reducing the risk of in-transit damage, SKOLNIK drums are known for being thicker, heavier and stronger than others in the field. This is due to the purchasing specifications that we apply to our steel. Even within a gauge, metal thickness can vary up to 10%, and therefore, we purchase steel that is on the high side of every gauge. We know we are unusual since many of our steel suppliers question why we don‘t buy steel "like the other drum manufacturers." And to this, we respond "it is not worth the pennies of saving to buy thinner steel and cause our customers to use drums that merely meet the UN/DOT certifications. Skolnik has a reputation for making a premium product and using thicker steel is just one example of the way we source our raw materials."

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