The debate over appropriate metal thickness for steel drums, appears to be turning 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. Forever a proponent of reducing the risk of in-transit damage, SKOLNIK drums are known for being thicker, heavier and stronger then 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, our purchases are placed to be 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 that "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 PLUS, and using thicker steel is just one example of the way we source our raw materials."
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 2001
In response to delays caused by recent terrorist events, the U. S. Department of Transportation‘s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has extended to Feb. 1, 2002, the comment period for its proposal on the applicability of its hazardous materials regulation to hazardous materials loading, unloading and storage. The initial closing date for submitting comments was Nov. 30, 2001. The reason for the delay, stated by Ellen Engerman, RSPA Administrator, is that ""mail operations have been significantly disturbed in recent weeks due to terrorist activities." Further evidence of slow or halted mail is also being experienced in the private sector. Utility bills, monthly payments and regular payables are also running late and are sometimes lost. While this slowness is not expected to end soon, confirming payment receipts and increased collection calls will help to identify payments that need to be resubmitted.
Recent testing of steel containers has been conducted to determine the integrity of the conventional test protocol. Specifically, a proposal was accepted by the UN requiring open head drums for liquids to be tested 24-hours after the closing of the drum. On a separate matter, testing was completed to determine whether the 4,6 or 8 o‘clock positioning of the open head ring was the weakest point of a drum when dropped. Not that either of these tests would have a significant impact on performance, money and time was spent in order to validate, or invalidate, the current test protocol. With tests completed for both proposals, it was concluded that the current protocol did, in fact, offer the more rigorous test, and both proposals, we hope, will be rescinded. With information derived from the Federal incident reporting format (Form 5800), in-field problems will be highlighted and corrective actions should be taken to increase safety. Whereas in the two items discussed here, trying to improve something that is not problematic is an unnecessary effort.
From all of us at SKOLNIK, we send our wishes to you for a healthy, happy, prosperous and peaceful Holiday and New Year.