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

Why a Seamless Stainless Crevice Free Drum was Developed by Skolnik

November 23rd, 2013 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Industry News

This is the story of why, and how, Skolnik developed their Stainless Seamless Crevice Free Drum. In a standard steel drum, where the body and head meet, there is a small crevice; it is created when the pieces are welded and seamed together.  This is oftentimes not a concern and the drum is an effective way to safely transport highly valued contents.  Sometimes, however, bacteria can grow in the crevice and this can lead to contamination of certain contents such as substances used in the pharmaceutical industry or chemical industry that use nitric acid or other chemicals.  The seamless drum does not have this crevice; it is smooth where the body and head meet which means it does not carry the same risk of bacterial contamination as a conventional steel drum. Skolnik Industries has always produced safe and reliable drums for storage and transport, but something more hygienic was needed and this led to the production of the seamless, crevice free drum and nitric acid steel drum.

In the early 2000’s, there was growing interest in seamless drums. Customer demand for the product increased, and Skolnik Industries was looking to meet the needs of our customers.  Our in-house engineering department was able to quickly begin developing the machinery that would allow for seamless drum production.  The process needed to be precise and thorough. With a team of full time engineers on hand, we committed 6 years of research and development to make sure the Skolnik seamless drum would be a safe and effective container for our customers.

The need for new equipment prompted our team to design machines that would properly and effectively weld the seamless drum.  It was important that the body, cap, and foot ring of the drum would all fit perfectly, and the welding engineer spent close to a year attempting to simulate the correct process. Once all the designs were finished, the necessary machines were built and the first seamless drum was produced.  It had been a long process, but it was ready for the quality tests.  It is imperative that seamless drums keep from cracking after a drop test.  A proper weld will help a seamless drum pass. this drop test . The welding programs were adjusted multiple times until a satisfactory setting was found.  The in-house engineering team was able to successfully bring seamless drums to the Skolnik Industries product line.

Production of a seamless, crevice free drum was slow-going, and we soon started looking for opportunities to speed up the process.  Further improvements to machinery were made, and the purchase of a vertical hooping machine simplified adding row bars to a drum.  With the new machinery and processes in place, production time was cut in half.  This meant large orders could be filled in a timely fashion that benefited customers on a strict time schedule while still ensuring a quality product.  By 2009 Skolnik Industries seamless drums were on the market.

Throughout the process there were roughly 15 dedicated Skolnik employees, from engineers to maintenance, to the quality department, who had a close hand in getting the company ready for seamless drum production.  It took time and creativity, and it has all been worth it.  Seamless drums lower the risk of contamination by residual bacteria and are a good value given the volume of contents that can be transported.  Both Skolnik and our customers have benefited from the seamless, crevice free drum production.

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