When buying a UN specification drum, the entire design of the drum and all its components (heads, ring, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs) are defined in the testing certification. All of these elements are incorporated into a drum type that must meet a test standard, and successfully pass the UN Testing criteria. Once established, shippers cannot alter or exchange any of these components with non OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts as it might impact the ability for the drum to perform as certified. For example, if a filler or shipper were to change the ring from a bolt style to a leverlock or even change the gasket type, this would void the UN certification for the container and could result in a potential DOT fine for the shipper, or a potential hazmat incident. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they contact the manufacturer and get original parts that meet the test criteria of that specific drum. Once the drum is filled, compliance with the UN certification is the responsibility of the shipper. To locate the contact information for the manufacturer, look on the Closure Instructions for this information. For all drums manufactured by Skolnik, you can request replacement parts at www.skolnik.com.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 2017
We here at Skolnik proudly serve a wide variety of industries with a full range of products, including the ever-popular 55-gallon stainless steel barrel. Our 55-gallon stainless steel wine barrel has deepened our ties with the beverage industry, where we’ve noticed a unique container challenge recently: keg theft.
Keg theft has plagued the beer industry for years. With the rise of DIY art and furniture, more and more craft beer enthusiasts are pilfering kegs from their local bars in hopes of making a fun conversation piece for their living rooms. Of course, this is illegal and hurts everyone from the bars — who are merely renting the kegs from their distributors — to the brewers — who now need to replace the container. With a sticker price on average of $130+ per beer keg, it’s not a cheap replacement.
Now, the distribution models of wine and beer are certainly different, and kegs are more vulnerable than a 55-gallon steel barrel, but it is certainly as much of a problem if inventory goes missing.
The beer industry has deterrents in place — hefty deposits motivate renters to return them safely– it is yet to be seen if such security standards are required for wine barrels. Luckily, if were to come to it, there are plenty of notes for our wine partners to take from the beer industry as they navigate the problem.
At Skolnik, we regularly receive requests for barrels to use in similar DIY projects. Luckily, as a wholesale supplier, we are at a lower risk for the kind of theft plaguing the beer industry. Our customers come to us for bulk purchases of containers, not individual rentals. Even so, by keeping a keen eye on the troubles faced by our partners in other parts of the beverage community can help protect us from future harm to our own businesses.
Some very impressive work has come out of peoples’ interest in these industrial containers, but the beauty of the piece is only tarnished by ill-gotten materials. We agree that the Skolink brand 55-gallon stainless steel barrel is a piece of art, just make sure you’re not committing a crime to get your hands on them.
The agricultural and manufacturing world is facing big changes as the rules set forth for the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) take effect in full, after the September deadline for mandatory compliance. The new standards will affect every part of the food processing and supply chain, including containers such as stainless steel process drums. FSMA According to the FDA, it will be the “most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years” and it “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”
Passed in 2011, companies began to abide by the act last September, after all of its rules were finalized. Now, the act’s year-long grace period is over, and the prevention-focus changes are officially the new status quo.
FSMA starts at the food facilities, including controls to evaluate hazards there, then requires the facilities to specify what steps, monitoring, and actions will be put into place to prevent them.
It then address moving the products with the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule, a series of new regulations on vehicles and transportation equipment, operations, training, and records for the agricultural companies. One element of the rule is that, “The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe.”
Within FSMA there are a number of large, expensive adjustments that companies are making to how they operate, and it has thoroughly changed the landscape of the agricultural industry. For the first time though, the FDA will have a legislative mandate to require science-based preventive controls across the entire food supply, which seeks to reduce the frequency of foodborne diseases. Hopefully, the cost is worth the gain.
Skolnik is examining the impact of the FSMA on our products and company. At this time, our crevice-free stainless steel process drums are used extensively by our customers with exceptional demands for cleanliness.
Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation’s Pipline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) announced that they are issuing a series of hazardous materials training grants, totaling $23,870,045. The three separate grants are part of PHSMA’s larger initiative to improve the transportation of these dangerous materials.
The largest of the three, totaling to roughly 20 million, will be disbursed via Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants across all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and Native American tribes, enhancing the abilities of emergency response personnel to protect themselves and the public when responding to hazardous material transportation related incidents.
An additional 2.4 million will be put into Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grants. These will provide support to non-profit organizations such as the Center for Rural Development and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The funds will be used to train volunteers and remote emergency responders to safely respond to rail accidents involving crude oil and ethanol products.
The last 1 million will be issued to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as part of its Community Safety Training grant program. This will allow community organizations to help train local and state personnel responsible for enforcing safe hazardous material transportation.
Hazardous materials have the ability to make an already dangerous situation that much more lethal. With these grants, responders across a broad spectrum of organizations will better be able to respond to the challenges, stay safe and in turn keep those around them safe.
For the full report from PHMSA, including a chart breaking down the allocation of the HMEP grants by state, click here.