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Remanufactured DEF Supply Modules Now Available

Learn about DEF supply modules, how they work, what commonly goes wrong, and how Dorman Products solved an issue by remanufacturing them.

Episode 181: We are excited to talk about a new remanufactured product that will help lower the total cost of repairing the diesel emissions system. 

My guest today is Daniel Simon a Category Manager of Dorman Products.  

Dorman Products logo. In this episode, learn about DEF supply modules, how they work, what commonly goes wrong, and how Dorman Products solved an issue by remanufacturing them.

Daniel is a returning guest; you can learn more about Dorman Products in episode 58 and episode 105


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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile. We’re excited to talk about a new remanufactured product that’s going to help lower the total cost of repairing your diesel emissions system. My guest today is Daniel Simon, a Category Manager of Dorman Products. Now Daniel is a returning guest. He’s been on the show before. You can learn all about Dorman Products in Episode 58 and Episode 105. Daniel, welcome back to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. So glad to have you back.

Daniel Simon:

Great to be back. Thanks for having me again, Jamie.

Jamie Irvine:

So we’ve been planning to talk about this subject for a while. Dorman released a new remanufactured product. Maybe tell me what is a DEF supply module and how does it work?

Daniel Simon:

Yeah, great question. So in modern trucks, especially as you get into the EPA 2013+, primary way for controlling, NOx emissions is with the SER system. So it’s a catalyst and that catalyst requires urea to be pumped through the system to lower the NOx emissions. So the DEF supply module itself sits between the DEF tank, that’s the tank with the blue cap, don’t ever put diesel in there, please. And it sits sort of between that tank and the actual lines and ultimately the injector that’s gonna inject that DEF directly into the exhaust stream right before the SCR catalyst.

Jamie Irvine:

So why are these susceptible to failure?

Daniel Simon:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. Ton of reasons. Right? So it’s a pump, right? So any pump over time, it’s a mechanical pump, so it’s gonna have, you know, mechanical failure. But there’s filters in there. Those filters get clogged, which can lead to failure. Any kind of contamination will cause failure. DEF will crystallize in cold temperatures. So these have heaters in them either heated electronically, or actually running off the engines cooling system. Those systems can fail and then ultimately DEFs pretty corrosive. So, you know, urea as it gets into things, it’s gonna break down seals and O-rings and gaskets that are designed to keep fluid flowing in the right manner. And as those break down, you get leakage and as it leaks internally, caustic fluids gonna get into electronic control boards and cause corrosion, I mean, it’s really across the board and then it sits inside the exhaust stream. So it’s a pretty gnarly environment in general between road debris and road rash and vibration. You know, these pumps just by design are pretty susceptible to failure over the long term.

Jamie Irvine:

So if you’re remanufacturing them, that tells me that you’ve identified an opportunity to come up with a repair solution. But for the average technician, why are repair solutions limited for them?

Daniel Simon:

Yes, that’s a great question. What we saw as we went through this, there’s really not a lot of, really any pure aftermarket product out there. So in this system, we’re remanufacturing these DEF supply modules. And for the most part, your only options are to go back to the dealer. And I think there’s a little bit of structural reasons there, you know, aftertreatment, this pump fails, NOx emissions are high, truck’s in D rate. And so predominantly, you know, that’s a really high trust requirement type part, you know, a truck down situation part. And so for the most part, we see people going back to the dealer for that. And so that usually leads the aftermarket to say, man, we’re just not gonna play in that kind of part, but that’s just not the Dorman way, you know, as we broke down the part, you know, we identified some repeatable failure modes that we really knew we could source the components that were needed really high quality components to do that.

And we could project those failure modes. And we could even test, you know, on some like custom end of line testing to validate our repairs. So we weren’t scared in any way from the products side. You know, it’s your question of why is there not a lot of repair solutions, for the most part the only option you have today is to go back to the dealer and either buy a brand new module that would also have a core charge because the OEs are still trying to seed core market reman or buy a remanufactured unit again with a core charge.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So do the OEs, they have a reman program as well? So they, like when you’re buying something from the dealer, you might be getting a reman unit as opposed to a brand new unit that would be manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer. Do I have that right?

Daniel Simon:

That’s right. So it depends on the exact SKU. So the system’s made by one manufacturer, ultimately it’s sold to the OE and the OEs are selling, you know, sort of their version whether it’s for a Freightliner truck or a Volvo truck. But depending on the dealer, you might get a new, you might get a reman unit, predominantly remanufactured units now, as this has been out since 2013. Regardless, even if you’re getting a new unit, what we’re seeing is there’s usually a core charge there anyway, as are trying to seed a reman program.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. That makes sense. That makes sense. So when it comes to the average repair shop or parts distribution company, because I know that Dorman sells through distribution, this product has now been rolled out and is available for them to buy. Is that correct?

Daniel Simon:

That is correct. So we started the manufacturing right around the first of the year, or I should really say remanufacturing right around the first of the year. That team, you know, went through ramp up, final validations and we’ve had product now available into the markets since about the beginning of February. Started to take some orders and we’re keeping up with that production demand, which has been great. Yeah. We look to see this business year scale over the next two to three months and make sure we can get this available in all markets so that technicians can get an aftermarket alternative at a no equality for a differentiated price point and you know, really save some fleets some real money here.

Jamie Irvine:

All right, well, we’re gonna take a quick break and when we get back from our break, we’re gonna talk more about that. So we’ll just hear from our sponsors. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high quality fuel injections for heavy-duty applications? Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability. Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket. We’re back from the break. And before the break, we were talking about remanufactured DEF supply modules that are now available through Dorman Products. Daniel, obviously when you were going through the process of deciding whether or not to remanufacture this product, you would’ve had to look at a lot of failed units. So what did you learn from the analysis of these units and why they were failing?

Daniel Simon:

Yeah. Great, great question. Let me talk a little bit about not only analyzing failed units which we do studies on hundreds of failed units but also how we looked at some new product out there as well as we were analyzing it. You know, the nice thing about analyzing failed units is that now we get the benefit of history. We’re not trying to project the future. We’re getting to look at what’s actually happened and see if that’s repeatable and if we can take that out. And also look at if we’re using the right materials. So with failed materials, the nice thing is we really got to find what components needed to be replaced on an as needed basis. If a specific component, you know, failed at a relatively low rate and say it was a leak that was causing something behind a o-ring to fail.

If that o-ring had never leaked, then we’re not gonna look to necessarily replace behind it. But we also were able to identify the long-term failures and identify all those components that we call a hundred percent replacement rate. So we have a list of components that no matter what when we break down a failed unit that we’re throwing out, even if they look perfect, right. We just know that at some point in time that urea is caustic. It’s gonna be attacking those o-rings, those gaskets, whatever they are, and we’re out there with the benefit of time to say we identified these are high failure components, we’re gonna replace them. And then as we looked at the new market as well, because we were setting up this entire manufacturing program and looking at what a quality DEF module looks like, we were able to benchmark all of our components and potential new units out there in the market and determine, did this meet our OE grade quality expectation.

And so we did that by building our entire own custom end of line tester that really puts a DEF module through the paces, right. And when we talk about their pressure leak tests, flow rates, all that kind of stuff. And what we found is any changes, any deviations in materials or grades in any individual components had huge impacts in performance. So we were able to use that along the way, not only for production validation, but even for our own development process. So it’s really exciting, you know, having walked through the facility, Dorman owns a remanufacturing facility, that’s got a great legacy in tier one remanufacturing. And then for me, you know, when I look at this, this is the kind of program that really lets us showcase all the incredible things that Dorman does. Right. We have flexed every single one of our muscles here, you know, engineering, on the reverse engineering side to identify all those components, getting that to our supply chain team, to go out and identify, you know, the right source of supply for these components and get those in.

And then our engineering and remanufacturing team setting those tier one standards and bringing in our legacy here of remanufacturing for the heavy-duty OE and bringing in much of that engineering methodology. And that test process into the aftermarket here has been really exciting to see how we take all of those functional areas, operating at their absolute best and bringing it to a single program here.

Jamie Irvine:

And that’s the big difference between remanufacturing and just rebuilding something. If I was gonna rebuild one of those units, I might take it apart, clean it, put some new O-rings it, slap it back together and put it on the truck. And if it runs, you know, one minute or 10 months, I’m happy. Right. But with remanufacturing, it’s restoring that to the original specs. And to your point, identifying where the weaknesses in those original designs were, and then compensating for that with upgraded components. That’s what you’re really describing, that’s why I love remanufacture.

Daniel Simon:

Yeah. It’s a great point. Right? So we don’t benchmark ourselves to a competitive product. We don’t benchmark ourselves to a reman product, right. We benchmark ourselves to a brand new, out of the box OE unit, right. So if we’re not remanufacturing it back to a minimum of the OE grade as a brand new unit out of the box, then we’ve really missed the mark on remanufacturing. Right then, as you said, we’re really just rebuilding it. There’s a lot more that goes in here than, than cleaning it up, throwing on some fresh o-rings. We’re doing a ton of electrical validation, making sure that all the software is still functioning properly. There’s just a lot that goes in, multiple steps along the way of custom design test equipment to make sure that, work in process steps were done correctly. As you said, you’ve really said it perfectly, bringing it remanufactured back to that original OE grade, not just cleaning it up. We want this product to last, as long as an OE unit would last for buying it from the dealer.

Jamie Irvine:

So when it comes to the warranty, for people who are gonna buy this product, what can they expect when it comes to warranty?

Daniel Simon:

Yeah, they’re gonna expect the exact same warranties for all the rest of the Dorman heavy-duty solutions lines. So this program is a three year unlimited mile warranty program and that runs through the Dorman network. They’re gonna get all the support they would expect from how Dorman supports both our distributor partners, as well as our end users. We wanna make sure that there’s a great experience here.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And today we’ve been speaking with Daniel Simon, a Category Manager of Dorman Products. If you want to sell more parts, there’s this new product available. It’s a remanufactured DEF supply module now available from Dorman Products. This will help you to sell more heavy-duty parts to your customers. To learn more about Dorman Heavy-Duty Solutions, visit HD solutions.com links are in the show notes. We’ve also included a link to a great video about the reman DEF supply modules in the show notes. So if you wanna check that video out, go to the show notes on our website, and you’ll have the link to watch that video. Daniel, thank you so much for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report and coming back for a third time, you entered a special group of guests who have been on three or more times.

Daniel Simon:

Jamie really appreciate you having me again, looking forward to getting this message out. The DEF supply modules are now fully available in the aftermarket, every day for fleets and owner operators that need a remanufactured DEF supply module.

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