REMANUFACTURING – Its Potentials in Enhancing Sustainability, While Creating New Opportunities
Every vehicle component has its lifespan, which can range from months to tens of years. However, certain components that make up the product can be re-used through various methods such as reusing, refurbishing, recycling and remanufacturing.
All the four methods of product recovery mentioned above stay true to its cause – to restore a product up to a functional usage.
Remanufacturing does not only restore a product to a functional usage but renews the entire product to the same quality standards as a brand new product. This does not only include the functionality of the product, but also the packaging and warranty of the manufactured item.
Examples of remanufactured products
The process of remanufacturing returns a product to original manufacturer specifications using a combination of reused, repaired and new parts. It adds value to the recovery of a product and has practical potential for sustainable manufacturing as it optimizes energy and raw material consumption, and minimizes usage of landfills. Various components of a vehicle can be remanufactured such as air-conditioning, braking, and even engine components.
The real question, however, is how does remanufacturing benefit the consumers?
First and foremost, the price of a remanufactured product, is significantly lower than a new product. According to the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse (CRR), remanufactured products are typically 60-80% of the cost compared to a new product, due to the cost savings from the recovery of materials and energy content of the product. Additionally, the warranty period given to a remanufactured product is the same as a brand new product which means it has the same expected life-span of a brand new product.
*Photo Source: Investment Recovery Association website
Remanufactured products are also subjected to larger availability while requiring a lesser amount of time to produce. Remanufacturing allows the consumer to continue to use parts that may no longer be available due to the ceasing of production.
The remanufacturing process also reduces the impact on the environment, especially in terms of waste and storage. As remanufacturing preserves much of the material in original product, the energy consumption for production and raw materials are also reduced. This is particularly beneficial where the product contains scarce materials.
The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) together with the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) introduced a remanufacturing roadmap that acts as a supplement to the National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP 2014). The roadmap, dubbed Malaysia Automotive Remanufacturing Roadmap (MARR), details the criteria for remanufacturing standards and best practices to be adopted by automotive players, with the aim of making Malaysia the center of automotive remanufacturing in the ASEAN region. In taking the next step, MAI and MITI are working together to create a National Remanufacturing Policy (NRP) to further enhance industry capabilities in practicing a remanufacturing standard that promises increased business and employment opportunities within the Malaysian.