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Why Remanufacturing Matters to the Heavy-Duty Parts Industry 

Learn why remanufacturing is important to the heavy-duty parts industry. 

Episode 89: In this episode, we discuss the benefits of remanufacturing, and Vaughn Henson, the Director of Business Development for CNH Industrial Reman, who also serves as the Chairman of the Remanufacturing Industries Council (RIC), talks about the history of remanufacturing, the impact on our economy today, and the role remanufacturing plays in being sustainable.

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Worldwide remanufacturing is a $160bn a year industry. A large portion of remanufacturing is done in the United States, accounts for 180,000 jobs, and produces $100bn annually.

Remanufacturing vs. Refurbishing / Rebuilding 

When you are repairing commercial vehicles, you have many choices when buying heavy-duty parts. There are many products that are advertised as “reman” but there is a big difference between a true remanufactured part and a refurbished or rebuilt part.  

Vaughn Henson in a Reman Facility

“The definition of remanufacturing requires that it brings that part back to new OEM standards. You can think of it as bringing an entirely new life to that part, whereas refurbishing and repairing can’t make that claim,” said Vaughn Henson, the Chairman of RIC.

A true remanufactured part meets or even exceeds OEM specifications and is produced with a rigorous manufacturing process. Whereas a refurbished or rebuilt part may reuse old parts and are not held to the same stringent manufacturing standards. Therefore, there will be significant differences in the quality and performance of the part.  

History of Remanufacturing  

In a sense, remanufacturing has been around for a very long time. However, remanufacturing in the industrial age is largely credited to starting in Oklahoma City in the 1930s, where the Fred Jones automotive dealership set aside a section of their dealership to carry out remanufacturing.

Today, remanufacturing is typically done in a factory setting, under the same quality standards that are held for the manufacturing of new parts. As an example of this standard, Henson said, “At CNH Industrial Reman, our cleanroom is a level 6 cleanroom. The dust particles are taken down to a sub-micron level. The only way to get parts back to the same standard, you have to do the process of what the manufacturer did in the first place.”

Many reman programs started back in the WW2 era when resources were scarce, so remanufacturing was really formed out of necessity for many companies. Today reman is an industry of its own and continues to grow and advance.

The Circular Economy of Remanufacturing 

According to EllenMacArthurFoundation.org, “in a circular economy, economic activity builds and rebuilds overall system health. The concept recognizes the importance of the economy needing to work effectively at all scales – for large and small businesses, for organizations and individuals, globally and locally.”

Remanufactured heavy-duty parts reduce the negative impacts of the linear economy and generate business and economic opportunities while providing environmental and societal benefits.

Remanufacturing keeps millions of tons of materials out of the landfills, has a much smaller carbon footprint than manufacturing everything new, and drastically reduces emissions. In fact, remanufacturing takes 85% fewer resources than new.

Remanufacturing Industries Council 

The Remanufacturing Industries Council has been around since the 1990s, so it is going on its third decade. The group has grown to about 45 members and includes many companies from a wide range of product categories.

Despite many of the members competing against each other, they recognize that there is a need to work together for the overall health of the remanufacturing industry.  Their mission can be summed up by the acronym A.C.E. which stands for; advocate, collaborate and educate about remanufacturing.

In addition to raising awareness and supporting remanufacturers, RIC has also helped advance the reman industry by creating a new standard. “One of the things that we started in 2014, and released in 2017, was developing the accepted ANSI standard for remanufacturing,” said Henson.

This created a standard that differentiates between a true remanufacturing process that restores parts to OEM specifications and refurbished or rebuilt parts that do not meet the high standard set by this initiative.

Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission. 

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