REMANUFACTURE (VERB) | Pronunciation: / rɪˈmanjʊˈfaktʃə
To return a used product to at least its original performance with a warranty that is equivalent to or better than that of the newly manufactured product.
Remanufacturing is an important component of a resource efficient manufacturing industry. By keeping components and their embodied material in use for longer, significant energy use and emissions to air and water (e.g. CO2 and SO2) can be avoided. In addition to environmental benefits, remanufacturing provides opportunities for the creation of highly skilled jobs and economic growth.
Remanufactured products are typically 60-80% of the cost of a new product due to the cost savings made from the recovery of the materials and energy content of the product.
For products that are manufactured to order overseas, a remanufactured product may be available with a shorter lead time. Additionally, remanufacturing may allow the customer to continue to use equipment, which may no longer be manufactured.
As remanufacturers have a real interest in knowing where their products are and recovering them they may offer their customers a range of services offering more than just a sale. Leasing, take-back, upgrading, supply and operate provide gains for both parties: Capital costs can be amortized, supplier relationships can improve and “whole life solutions” mean there are no disposal worries at end of life.
Reduced raw material consumption
As remanufacturing preserves much of the material in original product, less raw material is used than for manufacturing new products. This is particularly beneficial where the product contains critical raw materials – materials where there is a supply risk.
Reduced energy consumption
By limiting the amount of raw material extracted/recycled and the manufacturing of new components, remanufacturing typically uses less energy than manufacturing a new product.
Reduction in CO2 emissions
A reduction in energy consumption is usually accompanied by a reduction in CO2emissions.
Reduction of material sent to landfill
Not all end-of-life products and/or their components are suitable for recycling but instead end up in landfill. Remanufacturing reduces this flow of material by keeping material in use for longer.
Remanufacturing activities usually take place close to market, so while a product may have originally been manufactured overseas, remanufacturing provides the opportunity for creating local jobs.
Higher profit margins
Remanufactured products often have higher profit margins than for traditional manufacturing.
Remanufacturing is a great breeding ground for problem solving skills, more rewarding than production line jobs, and often retaining traditional industrial skill bases.
New manufacturing techniques
Leading edge remanufacturers embrace state-of-the-art manufacturing processes – lean techniques, investment in people, material traceability – because they are key to business success.
Better customer relationships
Through trade-in schemes, remanufacturers can build a better relationship with their customers than those who rely on throw-away, one-off purchases.
The ERN consortium partners have published an European market study on remanufacturing in 2015. The study quantifies: