"Ultimate" Recycling

Buying remanufactured automotive and truck parts is a "smart choice" for purchasing agents to consider. Many OEMs have established successful remanufacturing programs that they contract out to independent companies because they realize there is no profitable way for them to continue to supply new units during the life of a car, a truck or an off-road piece of equipment.

And, quite often they find a "fix" or "solution" to an engineering or operational problem that can be corrected in the remanufacturing process. This happens because remanufacturers have the luxury of working with units that have really been road tested under extreme conditions over a period of many miles as well as many years.

But, economics is the real driving force behind the remanufacturing industry.

The great reason to "buy reman" is that the price for a new unit is more than a remanufactured unit that sells normally for 35 to 45% percent less than "new." You have to be careful when you consider buying a "new" unit. You must ask yourself, is it a "new" OE unit or is it a "new" will-fit unit manufactured in another country? Many people are being fooled when they think they are buying a "new" unit.

Another great benefit of buying remanufactured units is availability. This industry is able to react rather quickly to supplying the market place with remanufactured units for vehicles that are older than five years. If a manufacturer had to look at supplying "new" product over the life of a vehicle, the cost of a new part would be twice as high as it is now. The remanufacturing industry is able to keep cars and trucks rolling and keep America rolling.

While the price and availability advantages are very important, there is an environmental benefit that makes the whole process just a little bit sweeter.

One thing to remember about remanufactured units is that they save 85 percent of the energy that went in to making the unit the first time, as well as the capital and labor that went into the initial manufacturing process. As a result, the remanufacturer is able to offer the product at a less than new price.

In this day of increased prices for energy, it is important for everyone to make intelligent purchasing decisions. Remanufacturing is the "Ultimate Form of Recycling" because it not only saves the energy but it also saves all the natural resources in their final form. Remanufacturers can always send a unit to the scrap yard for recycling and resmelting. But, if you can get five or more lives from a manufactured product just think of the tremendous savings in energy, natural resources, landfill space and reduction in emissions that impact global warming. The amount of raw materials saved by remanufacturing in a year would fill 155,000 railroad cars forming a train 1,100 miles long.

Remanufacturing is becoming a world-wide phenomenon. It has always been popular in the automotive and truck parts industry but we now see it moving into 150 to 200 more types of manufactured products. Manufacturers are looking at remanufacturing as a business strategy for future growth.

Collectively this industry is in excess of $52 billion a year. And, almost everyone in the industry is serious about servicing their customers with quality products.

Remanufacturing is currently being studied by a number of universities and research centers around the world. In fact, the National Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery is located at the Rochester Institute of Technology and is the leader in expanding the science of remanufacturing.

As the price of energy continues to rise, and, as the demand for more and more goods by consumers from 2nd and 3rd world countries continues to climb, remanufacturing will become the "in" thing. Worldwide energy savings through remanufacturing saves 350 tankers of crude oil or the equivalent of electricity from eight nuclear power plants.

The US government has become so interested in this industry that they have included remanufacturing in their 3R initiative and have even held discussions at the recent meetings of the G 8 countries as well as trade negotiation meetings in Geneva. So, some very interesting things are beginning to happen that will be exciting growth opportunities for our industry.

I firmly believe that this "Hidden Green Giant" called remanufacturing will be recognized in a few years as a very environmentally- friendly industry that is making tremendous contributions to the global economy and to reducing