Remanufacturing is an important component of a resource efficient manufacturing industry. It involves dismantling a product, restoring and replacing components and testing the individual parts and whole product to ensure that it is within its original design specifications. The performance after remanufacturing a product is expected to be the same as the original performance specification and the remanufactured product generally offers a warranty.
By keeping components and their embodied material in use longer, significant environmental benefits can be realised. Remanufacturing also provides opportunities to create highly skilled jobs and economic growth. Despite these accolades, remanufacturing is an undervalued part of the industrial landscape and an under-recognised industry.
To encourage more remanufacturing activities, the European Commission (EC) funded a project to form, coordinate and support a European Remanufacturing Network (ERN). This Horizon 2020 project has taken place over a period of two years, with the ambition to:
- Encourage new businesses to take up remanufacturing
- Help existing remanufacturers improve their operations
- Improve competitiveness of remanufacturers domestically and internationally
- Create greater awareness of remanufacturing to increase demand and address barriers
Over the past two years this network has sought out to better understand the current remanufacutring industry throughout Europe and created recommendations for how to increase the size of the industry and gain exposure for remanufactured products.