To define remanufacturing simply, it is the process of taking apart a no longer functioning product and re-building and refurbishing it to be usable again. Not to be confused with recycling, remanufacturing is much more involved than simply recycling a part. There are all kinds of products that can be remanufactured from heavy duty machinery parts, bridge components, automobile parts and pieces, steel panels, and electrical components.
With the need to re-use as much as possible, remanufacturing not only impacts the cost of creating new products, but also the environment; in a good way. In a time where earth-friendly choices are important, remanufacturing allows us to be less damaging to the environment while manufacturing the products we need for projects of every scope.
When considering pieces for remanufacturing it is important to keep in mind the following points to determine if it is truly worth undergoing the process:
- The replacement costs per part. Unfortunately, some pieces are not economically remanufactured. It may be cheaper to buy new pieces, or have custom replacements built from scratch.
- The end product. Are you using the remanufactured piece in the same application, or do you want to modify it for a new use? Can this be done efficiently?
- Health and safety considerations. Are there safety concerns surrounding the performance of a remanufactured piece? Do your research and make sure you won’t run into regulatory problems when using remanufactured parts.
Once you’ve considered the factors determining if it is a good option to remanufacture, the next step is undergoing the remanufacturing process. Finding reputable and proficient machinists and manufacturing facilities is important, as the success of your project will largely depend upon those doing the work.
The basic remanufacturing process consists of:
- Used parts are assessed for quality and usability
- Thorough cleaning of all reusable components
- Any missing, broken, or defective parts are repaired or replaced with new components
- Machining processes or other processes are performed to restore the piece to working order
- Any performance testing required to ensure quality and safety
- Reassembled product is ready for use
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