On Monday, October 11th, 2010, we broke ground on the first of a multi-phased plan to improve our flow of production, warehouse operations and receiving and shipping facilities. In conjunction with the City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund, we have received a grant that will partially cover the expense to make these improvements. Phase 1 will include the construction of 3 new loading docks at our Receiving Warehouse. The addition of these docks will greatly increase the speed and ease of incoming raw material deliveries. In Phase 1, we also will be leasing additional warehouse space that will be used for inventory of our distribution and shipping products. Plans are for Phase 1 to be completed by the end of November. Phase 2 will include the extension and complete dedication of our internal docks for shipping. Until now, both shipping and receiving were from this single location. With regard to increasing our production capabilities, we will be opening up more manufacturing space to finishing, packing and shipping. We expect Phase 2 to be completed by New Years. The goal is increased production capacity, reduced manufacturing stress, reduced lead times and increasing our (already high) on-time shipping performance. It’s all good!
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 2010
Seeming to receive ongoing attention from the DOT, the Closure Instruction requirements have been modified. With regard to Closure Instructions, 49 CFR 178.2(c)(1)(i) was revised to specify that the closure instructions “must provide for a consistent and repeatable means of closure that is sufficient to ensure the packaging is closed in the same manner as it was tested.” This modification seeks to further encourage packaging manufacturers, resellers and shippers to read and understand the requirements of proper closure. Proper closure is the most critical element of insurance that a dangerous goods package performs as tested. With revised versions of the Code of Federal Regulations printed annually taking into account regulation changes that are effective as of October 1 of each particular year, PHMSA has chosen October 1, 2010, as the effective date for this regulatory enhancement. Those affected should ensure they are in compliance on the date the requirements take effect. Follow these links for more Closure Instruction information and to check out our highly acclaimed Closure Instruction videos.
In 2010, SKOLNIK introduced a line of “seamless” stainless steel drums. The “seamless” construction refers to the fact that although the drum is made by welding a cover, body and bottom head together, the edges are butt-welded and therefore, there are no lapped edges where bacteria can accumulate. We are very close to the introduction of a seamless drum for wine, as our wine customers have been requesting seamless interiors for their drums. In addition to increased longevity, these crevice free interiors will allow for easier cleaning. They will be available in 55 gallon capacity, complete with a 2“ tri-clover fitting, just like our drums with conventional seamed construction. We expect to showcase this unique and improved drum at our booth at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, California, in January 2011, and then begin production for the 2011 season. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
In 2005, PHMSA initiated a policy imposing a 5-year expiration date on fireworks classification approvals. This policy was initiated to ensure that background information supporting the approval is current and applicable, information is up-to-date and complete, obsolete approvals are eliminated from the PHMSA database, and approvals are amended with new requirements and/or methods as necessary. In 2009, this policy was extended to include all types of classification approvals, including explosives, oxidizing substances, organic peroxide materials and self-reactive substances. Now, PHMSA is changing its policy and eliminating expiration dates for classification approvals because the policy has had unanticipated effects since its implementation. For example, a product shipped in accordance with a classification approval with a 5-year expiration date becomes ineligible for domestic transport on the date the approval expires despite the product continuing to be safe for transport. Therefore, effective September 7th, 2010, existing classification approvals with expiration dates will be reissued by PHMSA in accordance with the change of policy. While expiration dates for classification approvals will be eliminated, PHMSA retains the authority to issue approvals with expiration dates on a case-by-case basis.
Even though you may be purchasing a drum that meets the United Nations criteria for shipping hazardous materials, the proper closure of the drum is the final and most important part of the regulation. In fact, the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, paragraph 178.2(c), requires that packaging manufacturers give current written instruction to the fillers about the proper closure procedure for their “manufacturer-specific” packaging. Closure Instructions are not generic. While every SKOLNIK order is shipped with written Closure Instructions, you can now view a video of the Closed Head and Open Head Closure with Bolt Ring, and the Open Head Closure with Quick Lever Instructions. In addition, written Closure Instructions are also available in Spanish. Check out all our Closure Instruction options at Skolnik.com and call us if you need further clarification or would like to receive additional information for your record keeping.
SKOLNIK has had the honor of seeing our wine barrels used to craft some of the most prestigious wines in the world. Now, we are proud, and “blessed”, to add Holy Communion Wine to the list! In August we received an inquiry from the Order of the Magnificat Monastery in Quebec, Canada. The Order was looking to purchase some of our stainless steel wine barrels to protect their current wine inventory. We often get unique inquires but this one really piqued our interest. The Monastery is completely self sufficient; they grow their own food, make their own clothing, build their own buildings, repair their cars and they make their own communion wine! Like any good winery they were looking to improve the way that they make their wine. They have been using plastic tanks to store and age the wine, but found that this is not an ideal medium for making fine wine. Looking to find an alternative to plastic tanks, the Monks discovered SKOLNIK stainless steel wine drums on our website. After several emails and telephone calls, the Monks decided that the SKOLNIK stainless drums would be the perfect vessel for their wine. Father Jim and Father John made the trip to Chicago to visit SKOLNIK, tour the manufacturing process, and pick up their wine drums. We had a splendid time with both Fathers and we look forward to visiting their Monastery and Winery and to sample some of their wine. Check out the photos of their visit.