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

Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Used Cars, Why Not Used Batteries?

June 30th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

As electric vehicles rapidly grow in popularity worldwide, there will soon be a wave of used batteries whose performance is no longer sufficient for vehicles that need reliable acceleration and range. A new study shows that these batteries could still have a useful and profitable second life as backup storage for grid-scale solar photovoltaic installations, where they could perform for more than a decade in this less demanding role. The study, published in the journal Applied Energy, was carried out by six current and former MIT researchers.

As a test case, the researchers examined in detail a hypothetical grid-scale solar farm in California. They studied the economics of several scenarios: building a 2.5-megawatt solar farm alone; building the same array along with a new lithium-ion battery storage system; and building it with a battery array made of repurposed EV batteries that had declined to 80 percent of their original capacity, the point at which they would be considered too weak for continued vehicle use. Check out the entire study here.

Overpack Salvage Drums: Not for Liquids, Not for Primary Shipment

June 4th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Everything in its place. When it comes to choosing the right drum or container for your materials, it isn’t a matter of preference, it’s a matter of safety. Overpack salvage drums often fit the bill for both. However, while overpack salvage drums are a long standing industry favorite for the efficient and effective transport of damaged containers of various materials, they are not certified to hold liquids on their own and they are not recommended for primary shipment.

This is because overpack salvage drums are designed and certified for damaged, defective or non-compliant packaging discovered or damaged after the transportation cycle has already begun. They are a backup, a solution to a damaged container. They are not Plan A.

Now, an overpack drum not being used for salvage could be Plan-A. Overpack drums are often used in multi-pack situations or to handle a package more conveniently. But traditional overpack drums are designed to protect non-leaking containers or to be used in a combination pack. They are not certified to function as salvage containers for damaged/non-compliant containers. For that, you will require a certified, overpack salvage drum.

Furthermore, overpack and overpack salvage drums are not meant to hold liquids. In the case of a traditional overpack drum, it is only certified to hold another container. That other container is considered a solid, no matter what materials are within that container.

As for salvage drums, to bear the UN certification, an overpack salvage drum is rigorously tested. This test includes a leakproof test. However, the DOT recommends that, once over packed in a salvage drum, a leaking or non-compliant container should be immediately routed to a facility for disposal or re-containment. Again, a salvage drum is Plan B. They are a solution to be implemented in response to a problem. 

You can never be too careful. Always consult regulatory materials and industry specialists before choosing a container.

DGS Symposium on Dangerous Goods will now be Virtual and Free!

May 26th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

Hosted annually by Labelmaster, this year’s DGS Symposium (Sept 9 – 11, 2020) was planned for Chicago. However, due to the social-distancing mandates that will be imposed during the autumn months, they have decided to create the industry’s first virtual Dangerous Goods Symposium that will include live streaming panels and 1:1 conversations, on-demand regulatory updates and more featuring the most sought-after DG experts.

From your home, you will be able to attend:

  • Live Q&A sessions and panels with industry and regulatory leaders scheduled at specific days and times between September 9th and September 11th
  • On demand regulatory update presentations for viewing on whatever day and time is best for you
  • Live streaming small group sessions, based on industry or interest
  • Private, one-on-one meetings with industry leaders
  • Networking opportunities and games
  • And, it’s FREE

Topics will range from:

  • International and North American regulatory updates
  • PHMSA work session for operations, investigations and looking forward
  • The FBI, Homeland Security and Dangerous Goods
  • Compliance vs. Competence
  • A look at China’s regulatory complexities
  • Technology in transportation
  • Cross generational training: Challenges and opportunities
  • And, of course, Lithium Battery Friday!

Put the Symposium on your calendar for Sept 9- Sept 11, 2020.

Then register to attend at: www.labelmaster.com/symposium Thank you Labelmaster for turning lemons into lemonade!!!

Hazardous Waste Container Regulations and COVID-19

May 20th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

When transporting any hazardous materials or hazardous waste, it is important to know your materials, their characteristics and what containers are designed and approved for those materials. Infectious substances and materials always face very stringent packaging and transportation regulations, and, given the current challenge facing our world population with COVID-19, it is no wonder that healthcare organizations and transportation professionals are exercising caution and continuously checking in on the latest guidance for COVID-19 waste disposal.

For weeks now, red bags of medical waste laden with coronavirus-tained materials have been flowing from hospitals treating affected patients. But, according to current information on the organization’s website, the CDC reassures us that “medical waste (trash) coming from healthcare facilities treating COVID19 patients is no different than waste coming from facilities without COVID-19 patients. […] There is no evidence to suggest that facility waste needs any additional disinfection.”

While routine procedures seem to be fine for the trash coming from these facilities, what about other COVID-19 tainted materials such as specimens, cultures and isolates that need to be transported? To provide guidance in that area, PHMSA has developed a COVID-19 Quick Reference page.

Furthermore, one can consult The Department of Transportation (DOT). Responsible for the regulation of packaging and transport of materials under Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), and determinations made under the HMR in the context of transportation (such as the classification of wastes as ‘Infectious Substances’ or ‘Regulated MEdical Waste’), the DOT is continuously reviewing and updating their recommendations per the CDC.  Of note, the CDC and OSHA do not consider the COVID-19 virus a DOT Category A Infectious Substance.

The classification of wastes as Infectious Substances or Regulated Medical Waste can be found under Title 49 of the Code of Federal regulations section 173.134 Class 6, Division 6.2. Regulations specific to steel drums, such as the steel hazardous waste containers manufactured by Skolnik, are in chapter 178.601.

As the current situation with COVID-19 unfolds and the response efforts progress, so too may the regulations surrounding the packaging and transportation of potentially tainted materials. Please defer to current CDC and WHO recommendations and consider asking a dangerous goods consultant if you have further questions.

Safe Packaging and Transportation of COVID-19 Materials

May 12th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

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

Infectious substances, such as certain COVID-19 tainted materials, can pose a risk to health, safety, and property if packaged and transported incorrectly. When transporting such materials, it is extremely important to consult PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations to help minimize risk and exposure.

To assist medical facilities, clinical laboratories, and hazardous waste carriers in their efforts to move COVID-19 specimens, cultures, isolates, and medical wastes, PHMSA developed a COVID-19 Quick Reference page that provides guidance on how to package and transport these materials safely.

See PHMSA’s Guidance on Transporting COVID-19 Infectious Substances for more information.

Budding CBD and Hemp Businesses Leverage Food Grade Stainless Steel

April 30th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Industrial containers are designed and certified for specific uses. A food grade stainless steel drum, for example, is made of steel that met the quality, durability, temperature resistance, and other criteria to be deemed safe for food preparation, storage and dining. However, food grade drums are not only used to process or contain traditional foodstuffs. Skolnik food grade drums are also used to store/transport other consumables. They are employed in distilling operations, breweries, wineries, and, most recently, are being utilized in the cannabis and hemp industry for the processing, storing and transporting of CBD and hemp oil.

Food grade stainless and carbon steel drums are a safe, efficient and reliable means to contain a whole range of food-related and consumable goods. To be considered food grade, the drums themselves need to be made, top-to-bottom, with food safe steel. That means everything from the fittings to the gaskets can safely make contact with the contents without contamination. At Skolnik, we offer food grade stainless steel containers in a variety of configurations, including conventional, seamless, open head, tight head and more. And every surface of those drums meets food grade sanitary standards to help maintain the purity of the CBD, hemp oil or other product it serves.

Our customizable food grade stainless steel drums are excellent vessels for the safe, reliable containment and transportation of extracted oils and trimmed leaves, buds and flowers. As they are, they are completely food safe, no additional linings needed.

Furthermore, food grade stainless steel is easy to clean and disinfect, so our winery, distillery, and CBD industry partners can sanitize and reuse containers as needed as their businesses grow and evolve.

From kitchen utensils to appliances, stainless steel has long been a friend to the food industry, but we’re always excited to see how food grade stainless steels’ usefulness continues to evolve and serve emerging industries, and to do our part to support businesses in need of exceptional, food grade containers.

Learn more about the benefits of Skolnik food grade stainless steel drums in the CBD and hemp oil industries.