What Is Remanufacturing?
Remanufacturing is a type of manufacturing that is prevalent in the automotive industry and others that use mechanical and electronical components. When you purchase something brand-new, everything down to the material components was created from scratch. However, this is often an expensive and inefficient process. Remanufacturing is one alternative to manufacturing products from scratch.
Industries engage in the remanufacturing process to revitalize old parts. The process of remanufacturing goes further than simply recycling or reusing parts. Recycling often involves taking material and breaking it down to put into something else, and reusing something means you don't change its form at all. In contrast, remanufacturing involves upgrading, repairing and replacing components to bring the product back to its original condition.
When something is remanufactured, it means it's rebuilt up to the same functionality as a new product of the same kind. As part of an overarching process called product recovery, remanufacturing is a sustainable option. While some parts of a remanufactured product can be brand-new, the reuse and repair of other parts mean it goes further than recycling.
What Are the Benefits of the Remanufacturing Process?
The benefits of remanufacturing include:
- Conservation: Remanufacturing involves fixing old, repaired and worn down machines in a sustainable fashion. Rather than throwing an entire engine away when it breaks, the remanufacturing industry salvages as many components and materials from the engine as possible and builds it back up to its original condition.
- Less waste: Reducing waste is an important factor for most companies, as it's good for the environment and reduces the costs associated with properly disposing of materials. Because parts of products can be reused in remanufacturing, it generates much less waste.
- Cost-effectiveness: Remanufactured products tend to cost less than those that were made from scratch.
- Quality: Unlike recycling or reusing old products, remanufacturing ensures the final product is just as good or better than a new one. The great quality means it's a viable and profitable method of manufacturing goods.
What Industries Utilize Remanufacturing?
Many industries utilize remanufacturing in their production process. Some of the most common remanufactured items are in the automotive, telecommunications, marine, gaming and CATV industries.
The automotive industry uses remanufacturing, particularly in engine and electrical components, as well as heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. A remanufactured engine or HVAC controller uses as many parts from an old engine or controller to create a part that functions virtually the same as a new one would.
Automotive electronics remanufacturing includes rebuilding and extending the life of critical vehicle systems, including charging systems, radios, instrument clusters and HVAC control. Remanufacturing is also an element in upgrading software, firmware and cosmetic parts for vehicles.
Companies also utilize remanufacturing in the marine industry, particularly with regard to the engine and electrical components on boats. Much like automobiles, boats operate on a system of complex interactions between electrical and mechanical elements. Remanufacturing maintains as much of the original material as is salvageable and replaces or repairs mechanical and electrical components that aren't functioning correctly.
Telecommunication companies, including many phone carriers, remanufacture their equipment when they need repairs or replacements. Remanufacturing telecom equipment increases the speed and quality of repairs to equipment such as rectifiers, batteries and inverters to prevent outages for telecom companies and their customers.
Multimedia and Gaming
Companies can remanufacture gaming and multimedia systems like hard drives, digital jukeboxes, media players and flat panel displays, among other items.
Community antenna television (CATV) companies also use remanufactured components. From headend stations that receive network signals to individual signal distribution sites, remanufactured products can help repair cable networks.
Understanding the Remanufacturing Process
To understand the remanufacturing process, it's essential to know the basic process of manufacturing, which involves these steps:
- Raw materials
- Material transformation
- Components fabrication
When creating a product from scratch, companies begin with raw materials — these can be metals, wood, plastic or even chemicals and trace elements. In step two, they take the raw materials and transform them into a different form to compile and fabricate them into different components. Once the product assembly stage is done, it gets distributed, sold and eventually discarded after use.
Recycling operates within the manufacturing process by returning a product back to the material transformation stage — glass bottles and aluminum cans have to be melted down again to be used in other glass or aluminum products. Reusing simply repeats the selling stage, such as with consignment and thrift shops. Remanufacturing fits in between these processes as an alternative end-of-life plan for products.
Instead of breaking materials down to expend more energy creating a new product, remanufactured goods utilize old, repaired and new components to refurbish an item. Often, electrical components and engines are remanufactured to cut down on production costs. Unlike those that simply reenter the market for reuse, remanufactured items have the same or better operating condition as they did right off the factory floor.
The discourse around recycling items centers firmly on the environmental benefits, but many companies may be wary of the associated costs of breaking down materials to make new ones. Remanufacturing presents a cost-effective alternative to recycling that cuts down on waste and energy usage in the manufacturing process. By reusing old parts, remanufacturing industries can save time and money in repairing or refurbishing products.
Another benefit of remanufacturing is that it reduces cycle time, meaning it takes less time to fix products when they undergo remanufacturing. Rather than waiting for an entire new component to repeat the entire manufacturing process — from raw materials to assembly — companies only have to wait to repair and replace certain components.
As one of the largest industries to utilize this process, the automotive sector presents a great opportunity to see remanufacturing in action.
Automotive Remanufacturing With Advanced Technical Services
ATS specializes in automotive electrical remanufacturing. We'll rebuild and extend the life of a vehicle's electronic components, including:
- Audio and visual systems
- Steering wheel controls
- Wireless and in-vehicle networks
- HVAC systems
- Engine control units (ECUs)
The qualified engineers at ATS completely disassemble, clean and evaluate every part we receive for functionality. Then, we'll establish a renewal process to meet original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications and extend the life of each unit.
ATS also offers electric vehicle (EV) drivetrain and charging equipment remanufacturing services. EVs are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than standard internal combustion engines, but they have many electrical components. Rather than totally rebuilding a new engine when an EV drivetrain or charging equipment breaks down, ATS remanufactures these products to a like-new or better condition.
Choose ATS for Remanufacturing Services
ATS provides OEMs with qualified electrical remanufacturing services. We use quality, industry-leading products, equipment and techniques, and we're ISO registered. Our team's experience in various industries sets us apart, and we boast 40 years of delivering high-quality, reliable remanufactured parts for our OEM partners.
Contact an ATS representative today to see how we'll exceed your remanufacturing expectations.