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

Archive for 2013

Like a Holiday Story, Navy Veteran turns Passion into Business and Skolnik is at his side!

December 26th, 2013 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff

Noah Glanville is the creator and owner of the Pit Barrel Cooker Company. Pit Barrel started as a niche manufacturer of barbecue smokers and seems to be on the path to national success. As a customer, and friend of Skolnik, the story of Noah and his company is one of those stories that warms our hearts as we approach this Holiday Season.

Noah served in the Navy for 6 years. His duties included serving as a Navy Corpsman. When he returned to the US, he began the difficult process of finding employment. The national average of unemployment was near its high, and Noah changed his life path direction and decided to follow his passion by starting his own company. His passion was barbeque and thus, Pit Barrel Cooker was born.

Today, Noah has a handful of employees and is manufacturing and fulfilling orders from a small warehouse near his home. Plans for expansion are underway, he is looking for additional staff, and of course, he is giving priority to other veterans that apply. In addition, Federal tax credits have also been a boost to his operational budget. Having just spoken with Noah while writing this piece, he’s shared with me that it looks like Pit Barrel may be taking off in 2014 as he’s been approached by several national retail chains. In all, it’s a great story of a well-deserved success for a dedicated American with creativity and passion. Click here to watch a recent interview with Noah on the national Vets to Work Program.

Avoiding HAZMAT Incidents with HAZMAT Containers

December 19th, 2013 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Industry News

Incidents can happen anytime and anywhere, but with hazardous materials the effects are oftentimes greater.  Leaks can cause serious environmental damage, and contents, if not properly separated, can turn into poisonous gases.  Due to these unstable or dangerous contents, hazmat containers must be selected properly to ensure the safety of the surroundings.  Whether in transit, or storage, the right drum* can make all the difference.


Because steel drums can be made of different materials, carbon steel, stainless steel, etc, and because of the varying gauges of steel available, it is imperative that the correct drum be selected.  There are many questions to consider when determining the proper container for hazardous material.  Should the drum be lined?  If so, with epoxy-phenolic, 100% clear phenolic or pigmented phenolic? How will the materials be transported?  Road, rail, and air all may have their own rules to follow.  Knowing which size of drum to use is also important to avoid overpacking hazardous materials. Most importantly, selection of the appropriate United Nations (UN) certification level for the unique contents will insure that the shipments move within regulatory compliance, but depending on the product there may also be OSHA or EPA regulations to be aware of.  With so many regulations and specifics to consider it can be difficult to choose the safest container for shipping dangerous goods.  When looking for guidance the shipper should turn to the 49 CFR, DOT, or a consulting company.  Asking questions first can save time, money, and lives when it comes to shipping hazardous materials.


When transporting hazardous materials, it is the responsibility of the shipper that contents are properly classified, packaged, and labeled.  Carriers usually rely on the information provided by the shipper, and unless they have reasonable doubt in the instructions, assume each item is properly packaged and documented. Incidents such as leaking or contamination of contents due to improper packaging are seen as the direct effect of the shipper’s action, and can cause major legal and environmental issues.  Hazmat shippers can also face immediate costs in the forms of damaged equipment and the time it takes to review and change safety and emergency protocol.

These issues can be avoided, however, with the appropriate knowledge and equipment.  Hazmat shippers should have employees that are trained in proper storage and transport regulations, as well as security and safety awareness.  Employees should have the knowledge that allows them to make proper and safe decisions in dealing with hazardous materials, and knowing what type of container to use is essential.  According to the U.S DOT, hazmat employees are required to complete training every three years.


Safety is the number one concern when dealing with hazardous materials.  Proper drum selection and regularly updated training are just two of the ways Hazmat shippers can avoid unnecessary incidents.


*As Skolnik is a manufacturer of steel drums we focused on this type of container, but certain hazardous materials may require a different type of container and proper research should be done before shipping any dangerous goods.


Skolnik Celebrates World Quality Day 2013

December 19th, 2013 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News

Quality is no longer an option, it’s a requirement! Celebrating quality has become an annual event at Skolnik. For the 6th year, on Nov 14th, 2013, Stephanie Bravo, our Assistant Director of Quality, hosted a day of quality awareness presentations ranging from on-line production issues to internal coating characteristics and application. Everyone in the company participated and increased their knowledge of our quality process, expectations, and opportunities for improvement. With the theme this year of "Making Collaboration Count," we are grateful for presentations that were given by Fred Chin of Universal Chemicals and Coatings, and Rufus Baygents, Assistant Maintenance Manager at Skolnik. In addition to the presentations, a food drive for BinDonated was successful in raising more than $500 worth of food products and donations for a local Chicago community resource center. The day included a luncheon and awards ceremony highlighting the quality achievements of staff that exemplified the quality effort used in fulfilling our customer requirements. Check out pictures from our 6th Annual Quality Day here.

Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

December 17th, 2013 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

Skolnik Industries will once again be exhibiting at the 2014 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium which will be held January 28 – 30 in Sacramento, CA. Since the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) joined forces to create the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in 1995, it has become the largest wine and grape conference in the nation. The trade show is home to over 650 suppliers to the wine and grape industry. With more than 13,400 industry professionals attending, the symposium has established a reputation for providing outstanding, current and breaking news, as well as information and content that benefits the industry. As one of the industry’s premier gatherings, the Unified Symposium presents a vital platform to focus on the issues shaping today, while interfacing the topics and trends shaping the future of grape growing and winemaking. A highlight of the 2014 event will be the keynote speaker, Jerry Baldwin, former owner of Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks co-founder, who will present the opening day luncheon address. His unmatched expertise on marketing and customer service will make for a powerful opening day. Baldwin purchased the Peet’s chain in 1984 after learning much of the coffee trade directly from Alfred Peet, who founded the first coffee house under his name in Berkley, CA., in 1966. Before buying Peet’s, Baldwin founded Starbucks in 1971 with Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker. He now owns and operates a vineyard and J. Baldwin Wines in Glen Ellen, CA. Another new feature at the 2014 show will be a new mobile-smartphone website that will include a map of the show. Not only will you be able to use your smartphone to help you navigate the trade show floor, but you can also check out the program sessions. You will find Skolnik and our stainless steel wine barrels at booth number 1213. See you in Sacramento!