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

Archive for 2018

A Friend of Small Spaces – The 30 Gallon Drum

November 16th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

The 55 gallon drum might be the workhorse of containers, but the 30 gallon is gaining popularity, particularly in cities and growing businesses where space is at a premium. Why? Because a 30 gallon steel drum is more stackable.

Could you stack 55 gallon drums? Skolnik stainless steel drums are built heavier, thicker and stronger than the industry standards demand, so yeah, probably. But how are you going to access them? Do you really want to lift a 55 gallon drum up off of another 55 gallon drum? I thought not.

Smaller drums are easier to stack and easier to move. In general, businesses are expect to do a lot with a little. Whether that’s budget or space or both. In addition to being more small-space-friendly, our 30 gallon steel drums meet the same stringent guidelines regulated by the UN and Department of Transportation.

Whether you need to store them or ship them, a 30 gallon container is the definition of small but mighty, and with an added dose of convenient. Plus, two 30 gallon drums gives you 5 more gallons of storage than the beloved 55 gallon container anyway.

304 vs 316 Grade Stainless Steel Drums

November 5th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

By definition, stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. However, there isn’t just one kind of stainless steel. There are numerous grades of stainless steel all with variations in density, elasticity, thermal conductivity and other properties. When it comes to a stainless steel that must endure corrosive environments, which most stainless steel industrial containers must, austenitic stainless steels are the most popular choices. But even then, there are two popular grades: 304 and 316 stainless steel. So, what grade stainless steel drum is right for you?

304 stainless steel is generally the most common austenitic steel used due to it’s high nickel and chromium content. The high chromium content gives 304 stainless steel drums and other products excellent corrosion resistance.

316 stainless steel also has high amounts of chromium and nickel, but with a significant amount of molybdenum, grade 316 stainless steel possesses an even higher level of corrosion resistance.

What grade of stainless steel you need largely depends on your use. In the case of stainless steel drums, it largely depends on the materials you wish to contain or ship and any regulations governing those materials.

For example, while 304 is often used in commercial food processing, 316 is considered one of the most suitable choices for marine applications, medical devices and chemical processing or storage. 304 has better formability and is generally more affordable, but 316 may be a better choice when working with/containing corrosive environments or where greater strength and hardness are required.

At Skolnik, we know our steel and are happy to guide our partners to the most efficient and effective material and container for their needs.

What’s DG? — A fun, new video from Labelmaster!!

October 23rd, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

At the recent Labelmaster Dangerous Good Symposium in Chicago, a professional camera crew took to the streets of Chicago to find out how much the public knows about Dangerous Goods, aka Hazardous Materials. Armed with placards, labels (never stickers!) and some great questions, the results are hilarious! Certainly, the public knows that they need the professionals in the Dangerous Goods world, just not sure what and where it is. Take a minute and watch this fun 6 minute video.

Thank you Labelmaster for bringing this matter to the forefront of public knowledge!

PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Shipping Hazardous Materials

October 19th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

Earlier this week, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) , in consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued a final rule on shipping hazardous materials. This much anticipated rule aligns the U.S. Hazardous Materials regulations with other current international standards for the air transportation of hazardous materials.

By aligning with international standards, businesses, shippers and civilians alike can be more confident that hazardous materials are being safely and securely transported and the risk of incident is reduced.

Now finalized, the new amendments revise a number of requirements including packaging requirements and information to the pilot-in-command requirements. Several more amendments are in response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by the regulated community.

Other amendments include changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations and vessel stowage requirements.

At Skolnik, we take compliance very seriously. Our hazardous material containers are always manufactured stronger and heavier than industry and regulatory standards require.

This Final Rule is detailed in the Federal Register.

Steel Drums are affected by the Global Tariffs

October 16th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

In the past year, the price of steel in the US has risen due to the tariffs that have been placed on products being imported in to the US. In most cases, steel drum manufacturers and reconditioners have passed on the increase to the end user. There is always the belief that when steel prices increase, reconditioned drums deserve consideration. However, in this unique steel crisis, the available recycled raw materials that are used to recondition or remanufacture drums are drying up as crushed scrap drums are being illegally sent to scrap yards and eventually end up at steel mills. RIPA has created a 1 minute video explaining this unlawful act that could affect companies. Given the reduction of steel drums available for reconditioning, the reconditioned drum prices reflect the shortage of raw drums and therefore, the prices between new and reconditioned are not far apart.

Furthermore, some manufacturers are using the price of steel in the US to drive down the necessary wall thickness of steel drums. Drum user’s often do not realize that reducing wall thickness increases the risk on drum performance — and a small cost savings on the drum exposes the much more expensive inner contents to greater transport risk.

On the other hand, users contemplating reconditioned versus new drums will find that a reconditioned drum is going to be thicker and heavier than many of the thin-walled new drums that are not intended to withstand reconditioning and are being scrapped after a single use. When choosing the best drum for your product, we recommend that thicker steel is the best choice for risk-reduced transport and storage. Never use a drum that is less than 0.9mm minimum or 20 gauge wall thickness.

Green is the new Pink

October 9th, 2018 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Writing for the “Beverage Media Group” in an article in the “Wine Industry Advisor”, Pam Strayer writes: “While the wine industry has been busy riding the pink wine wave, it is becoming clear that the “green wine” wave is worth catching as well. Millennials’ interest in organically grown wines is leading to double-digit growth in sales, say green wine industry experts. Although the sector is tiny—1% by volume and 2% by revenue, according to 2016 Nielsen data—it is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S.”

In her article, Strayer goes on to observe that: “By comparison, Europeans—who typically trend ahead of Americans in food and drink—are already drinking 10% organically grown wine. Moreover, the trend is gaining mainstream credibility every vintage, with established wineries and distributors becoming proactive category leaders.” Analyzing U.S. off-premise sales (for the period from June 2017 to 2018), Debby Wang, Commercial Director of Analytics and Insights at Breakthru Beverage Group, one of the country’s largest distributors, says: “Organically grown wines have 10% volume growth and 5% revenue growth, outpacing total wine growth which is nearly flat.”

“Organic wines have been growing at double digits, and we think this trend will continue, especially with sustainability-minded Millennials,” says Chris Indelicato, CEO and President of Delicato Family Vineyards.

Green Values, Green Lifestyles

What is driving green wine category growth? “Consumers continue to ask for products that align with their values,” says Bonterra Senior Brand Manager Taylor Johnsen. Natura’s Pavon agrees that the market is responding to preferences among younger and lifestyle-driven legal drinking age consumers: “There is more consciousness among consumers about the environment and about organics.”

In a bold experiment, one national supermarket chain, Natural Grocers, is going all-in on organic. The national, family-owned organic supermarket chain, which sells only organic produce in its 150 stores, added its first wine department in Denver last year with 500 different wines from 17 different countries—all from certified organic or biodynamic vines.

“We see organic wine as part of a lifestyle,” explains Jeff Cameron, who heads up wine at Natural Grocers. Store signage indicates different types of green wines, and Cameron trains his staff on the nuances of sulfites, biodynamics and more so they can help consumers understand each wine’s context. “We also like the storytelling aspect of these producers, which we can share with consumers,” he adds. Cameron says the chain plans to implement the program in more of its stores across the country starting with six in Oregon, and that sales in the Denver pilot are going well.

More significantly, awareness is deepening. New research shows that a majority of high frequency wine drinkers (who are responsible for about 80% of wine sales in the U.S.) correctly associate specific practices with different types of green wine certifications, according Wine Market Council survey results released in May. “What surprised me was the fact that consumers could discriminate between organic versus biodynamic,” said Damien Wilson, Associate Professor with the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, who was a member of the WMC research committee that commissioned the study. More than 86% of 1,100 high-frequency wine drinkers identified organic with pesticide prohibitions; a surprising 51% associated biodynamic with regenerative practices.

Here at Skolnik Industries, we believe that a “green” approach also involves the wine barrels. Our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.