Many products can be Remanufactured! Numerous examples can be found in diverse industries, clearly showing the possibilities of economical and environmental performance. Some products are more suitable for Remanufacturing than others however. For example, the application of a Remanufacturing process is relevant for products that have long technical cycles, but its application may not be so relevant on a brand new product, which will have low quantities to feed the Remanufacturing supply-chain with returning parts/components.
It is necessary to study each product, as each as its particular context of interacting technical materials and specifications, method of fabrication, market, life cycle, supply-chain, customer requirement, and Business Model(s) for example.
An efficient Remanufacturing process is built on 3 key strategies:
The reverse Supply Chain
Reclaim/Recapture the used product (core) from the deposit centres, while focusing on maintaining its intrinsic value; and optimising partnerships with existing end-of-life (EOL) chain actors
Optimise the Remanufacturing process and develop the design for Remanufacturing (DfReman)
The Business Model
Take in account the users experiences and the company strategies; build and develop Sustainable and Environmental Business Models and communication
Duplication is not often possible, but existing, long-term, tried and tested models can give rich inspirational insights for opportunities, as well as potential barriers to overcome
(cf. Case Studies in Explore>Companies)
The most suitable models for the new activities will be a genuine model, based on these 3 key strategies.
The political and institutional context, material scarcities and energy price fluctuations, developments in technology, improving acceptance of reused products and innovative business models with consumers, is opening up new opportunities for Remanufacturing. First players in revaluing end-of-life products will be the future winners.
These are no longer weak signals, but growing trends!
Remanufacturing is not (yet…) so well-known and disseminated within the public arena, but there are already a significant number of strong, and in some cases with more than 25 year of experience, industrial examples; which is stimulating the development of new activities within other products typologies, such as Business-to-Business (B2B) products (i.e. stamping machines) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) products (i.e. white good appliances).
The subjects below are currently under debate, and will substantially influence the development of Remanufacturing activities into the future:
- Adoption of an agreed definition for Remanufacturing,
- Clarification of legislation to distinguish a product that is due to be remanufactured, from those products which are considered as waste, for example. This will ensure that they do not fall within the waste regulations remit,
- Consideration of different forms of industrial policy, such as tax incentives or infant industry protection for remanufacturers; in order to encourage the uptake of Remanufacturing activities.,
- Propose specific incentives and collaboration support for SMEs to incorporate Remanufacturing into their business plan,
- Consideration of a certification for Remanufacturing goods, demonstrating that products have been tested, and fully comply with those standards of a new product, increasing and maintaining consumer confidence,
- Adoption of a complete life costing communicable to the public, highlighting the benefits of remanufacturing for product developers and consumers.
- A law requiring public institutions to encourage the use of remanufactured parts in public procurements.
(some recommendations listed above are inspired by the report by the "All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group", UK: 'Remanufacturing: Towards a Resource Efficient Economy' - March 2014.
- Integration of Remanufacturing throughout the entire industrial process; by introducing different forms of Design for Remanufacture (DfReman), such as Design for Disassembly, Design for Upgrading, and the Design for Tracking multiple cycled components for example,
- Sharing information to scale benefits by synergy between the many different logistic actors,
- Participate in the evolution of legislation concerning patents and Intellectual Property for Remanufactured products for example,
- Help support multi-actor reverse-logistic systems so that end-of-life products can be quickly, cheaply and with high quality, reclaimed by Remanufacturing companies,
- Communicate about the benefits of Remanufacturing to users and society in general.