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

Archive for 2019

Why a Name Matters?

December 10th, 2019 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

In a recent Wine Business Editorial in the Wine Business Advisor, Elizabeth Slater wrote about the importance of names in the selling of wine. To be clear, we’re not talking about the name of the wine, which we all recognize as important, but Elizabeth makes an excellent point about the use of your employee’s names.

Elizabeth writes that: “If you want to sell something, the first step is to introduce yourself, and not just by saying: “Do you need help?” but by giving them your name, “Hello, I’m Susan, may I help you?”

She goes on to explain that: “The second step is discovering the name of the person to whom you are speaking to and using it occasionally during the discussion.”

I am sure that you have heard this before. It is one of those things we learn when we first start selling. Unfortunately, it is not something that many salespeople remember. It was recently Black Friday, so in a large amount of my emails that day, and the day before, was information on the Black Friday offers from wineries. Out of the ten emails I received offering me great deals on wine, only one of them included the names of any of their employees in the email. Some of the emails I received included a phone number with an option to call in for personal service. The idea that the customer could interact one on one with a real person would be much stronger if customers were encouraged to “Call our concierge line to speak to Anne, Michael or Catherine.”

Elizabeth suggests that one can: “Increase connections with customers by adding a small card in each customer shipment, thanking them for their purchase and signed by the owner(s), winemaker or both. The more we can personalize the service we offer; the more likely consumers are to return to our winery and/or purchase over the phone or online.”

Research has confirmed that more than 70% of customers expect a personalized service from the company they are interacting with. For younger generations, a personalized service is expected. According to a recent article in Forbes “…poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year.”

Elizabeth concludes that: “Showing your customers that they are important to you is the best way to keep them engaged and encouraging them to continue to do business with you. While we would sometimes like to believe that it is all about the wine, there are too many other wineries out there not to make sure your customer service is as good as your wine.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, Veronica, Jason, Josip, Cathy, Bill, and Dennis are all ready to assist you in selecting your ideal stainless wine barrel. Note that 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.

Everyone’s Favorite 55 Gallon Drum

December 5th, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

It’s the holiday season and your inboxes and web ads are probably chocked full of so-called ‘perfect’ gifts or ‘one-size-fits-all’ presents. Well, what if we told you there was a one-size-fits-all industrial container? Well, we’d be lying, but not fully. The 55 gallon drum may not be one-size-fits-all, but it is the overwhelming industry favorite. 

The 55 gallon drum, especially in stainless steel, is the most popular size and configuration container for a diverse range of uses. We call it the workhorse of the line up. It’s not too big, not too small, and is just right for packing, storing and shipping a variety of solids, liquids and, with the right treatment, even hazardous materials.

At Skolnik, we build all of our containers thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards. Our 55 gallon drum is available in stainless steel, carbon steel, seamless steel and in salvage drums and stainless steel wine barrels. The closures and fittings are all customizable for your needs.

While we love our 55 gallon drums and they are the overwhelming favorite, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right drum for your use. Contact us and our team of experts will help guide you to the right container size, material and configuration for your business. We love our near one-size-fits-all container, but we also relish the opportunity to engineer and manufacture a custom barrel for your unique needs.

BACK-OFF Prevention Addressed in Canada

November 26th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

For many years, during DOT audits, customers are often asked to provide technical information regarding the prevention of the closure plug Back-Off. By definition, Back-Off refers to the potential loosening of a steel or synthetic drum plug (usually the 2” and the ¾” on the top head) after the required torque is reached when closing a drum. Currently, CFR 49, 173.227(b)(2)(ii) does state that the screw closures must be “physically held in place by any means capable of preventing back-off or loosening of the closure by impact or vibration during transportation.” Transport Canada still refers to this requirement as “closures that are threaded.” However, in a move to have Transport Canada harmonize with the US CFR, COSTHA (The Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles) has submitted a proposed revision to Transport Canada. The proposal expands the criteria so that the “inner packagings shall have closures with gaskets and which shall either be threaded or physically held in place by any means capable of preventing back-off or loosening of the closure by impact or vibration during transport.”

For information about meeting the Back Off requirement, Skolnik offers solutions to securing closures plugs.

Stainless Steel does not Rust…Wrong!

November 19th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a ubiquitous material with a wide variety of applications—from

use in medical devices, to automotive parts, to jewelry and cooking utensils. Much of the “magic” of this metallic material is that as stainless, in theory, it doesn’t rust. However, if you have ever owned or used a stainless steel product it is likely that you have noticed rust (corrosion) and you may have even questioned if its name is a misnomer. Why does a material touted as “stainless” rust?

Most people are familiar with metals, to include stainless steel, corroding when it’s exposed to environments such as seawater. Often, without understanding the exact science of what is occurring, people accept that exposing a metal product to seawater has a damaging effect. The science behind corrosion from seawater is that the water contains chlorine, which is corrosive to metals, including stainless steel. However, corrosion of stainless steel can also occur without producing any corrosion products to analyze (other than rust), and when an obvious corrosive environment is unable to be detected.

To understand what makes stainless steel rust it is first important to understand the science that typically prevents it from rusting. Steel is made of iron and carbon, and stainless steel contains iron, carbon, and anywhere from 12-30% chromium. Stainless steel can contain other elements such as nickel and manganese, but chromium is the key element which makes it rust resistant.

Have you ever used a steel wire wheel or steel wool to clean off a stainless steel tool, and then the stainless tool rusted in the same spot which was brushed clean? Or have you seen a stainless steel container or sink rust? Stainless corroding in the absence of a corrosive element (such as chlorine) is usually from very tiny steel particles touching the stainless steel surface. Chromium can protect stainless steel if the localized concentration is in excess of 12%, but if you cover the stainless surface with sufficient steel particles, then the localized concentration of chromium can fall below the 12% threshold and the chromium oxide layer fails to protect the stainless steel from oxygen attack. If this type of corrosion happens to stainless steel, it is fixable by: (A) Cleaning off all the rust, and then (B) removing the tiny steel particles by thoroughly cleaning the stainless steel part, usually with a solvent. These two steps should allow the chromium oxide layer to protect the stainless from further oxidation. Check out our extensive line of stainless steel drums.