Containers manufactured to be United Nations (UN) or DOT certified must be accompanied by manufacturer specific Closure Instructions. These instructions indicate the process which a filler must follow in order to properly secure the container in accordance with the Testing Process. Torque, dimensional measurements, and visual safeguards are a part of each closure technique. However, it is the responsibility of the filler to not only follow these instructions, but also to REJECT a container that does not appear to be properly closed. A drum torqued at more or less than the prescribed foot pounds, a ring gap greater than or less than the specified distance, or gaskets which appear not to be properly seated onto the bead should be rejected and returned to the manufacturer.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 2002
The Hazardous Materials Enforcement division of DOT claims that they do not randomly select their inspection locations. About 97% are the result of an employee complaint. The remaining 3% are the result of prior incident history or the level of risk the company poses to safety. Inspectors look closely at Hazard Communications, Packaging Requirements, Packaging Selection and Self-Certification. Specifically, for non-bulk Packaging Requirements, DOT looks for packagings manufactured prior to 1 October 1994, UN tested and certified packagings, DOT specification packagings for gases, and specification packagings for bulk. Any of the SKOLNIK Engineering, Technical, or Sales staff is available to answer questions regarding container compliance.
It is a regulatory obligation to communicate the nature of hazards by clear and durable labeling of packages. The labeling industry has to be able to produce and supply the labels to meet the needs of their customers while communicating danger effectively. In addition, customers will often come to the label provider for advice and guidance on the often-confusing maze of rules and regulations, so label manufacturers have a need to keep themselves up to date on the legislation covering labeling requirements and hazard communication. Hazardous substances are often produced in chemically or physically harsh environments and labels have to withstand attack from a number of different corrosive agents. This has to be taken into account when choosing the label’s material and the specification of the inks used for printing. As shippers, it is imperative that the labels you choose for package identification be designed to withstand simple to extreme conditions of transport and storage.
Recognizing that shippers of chemicals and hazardous materials have a wide range of choice when selecting containers, members of The Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) know that reusability is just one of the factors in the selection of packaging. RIPA members all manufacture recycle or recondition packagings that are intended to offer multiple life cycles. Other beneficial factors include size, shape, materials of construction, ease of disposition and, of course, cost. Another feature of selecting reusable packaging for shipments of dangerous goods is that international standards and many national regulations require all packagings to be capable of passing a series of performance tests. Packagings are tested, certified and marked to a particular level of performance appropriate to the contents. In the US and Canada, dangerous goods regulations also require a minimum wall thickness for steel and plastics drums in order to qualify for reconditioning and reuse. Therefore, a reusable package is generally a more durable container then those intended for a single use.
What does Buff mean? How many steel containers fit on a pallet/on a truck? What is your minimum quantity? What does 1.2 mean? Do any of these sound like questions you wanted to ask, but did not know who would know the answer? The Skolnik staff is always there to help you find your answers, and we have complied a list of the most frequently asked questions. They are available ‘24/7’at www.skolnik.com/pages/faq.html. And while you are at our web site, check out other interesting resource information such as: Skolnik‘s standard paint colors, dimensional measurements of all our containers, the metal thickness chart, a glossary of drum terms and our clearance specials. Of course, if your question is not listed, please contact us.
Last month I reported on the current actions by members of the steel drum community to approach the Bush Administration seeking an exemption from the tariffs imposed on imported steel. Spokesperson for the drum industry has been Les Trilla of Trilla Steel Drum in Chicago. "Since the imposition of the spring tariffs, steel at his company has been 54 percent more expensive, and this translates into an increase of about 20 percent in the cost of manufacturing each drum. The Bush administration‘s steel protections, therefore, have amounted to the equivalent of an anti-employment, business-destroying move against the steel drum industry." The drum industry response has been to increase prices nationwide. At SKOLNIK, we buy our steel 6–12 months ahead of when we will actually use it. We do this to secure the flow of incoming raw material and to establish protected prices. Due to long time vender relationships and large volume purchasing, we have been able to delay many of our product increases. Therefore, as the end of the year approaches, our price adjustments should be fully implemented. As for the view for 2003…..the steel market will hopefully stabilize.