European automotive stakeholders across the value chain are invited to share their knowledge about the status and potential of remanufacturing activities via a short online survey.
Remanufacturing is a curious beast. On the one hand, it is a well-established commercial activity in the automotive aftermarket seen in a range of products, from alternators to turbochargers, transmissions to engines, injectors to steering racks, and more. But on the other hand, for all its accolades and champions, remanufacturing is also a bit of a mystery, rather reticent about its many, topical environmental benefits. This is unfortunate since it could easily be a flagship for both the ‘circular’ and the ‘economy’ with the right exposure.
As an industrial practice of returning a used product to at least its original performance with a warranty at least equivalent to the newly manufactured product, it can boast impressive environmental and economic benefits compared to manufacturing new. This is because, during the process of dismantling the product, restoring and replacing components and testing to confirm that it meets its original design specifications, many of the original components are retained, saving both cost and carbon. Indeed, the European Remanufacturing Council describes remanufacturing as the “backbone of the Circular Economy”. (For more on the Circular Economy, see the series of articles by David Parker, Sustainability: a beginner’s guide Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.)
Set against this, it’s often difficult to know exactly what assistance is needed, and where, to advance the cause of remanufacturing. Statistics on remanufacturing are scarce because it is not a distinct manufacturing theme under classifications of industrial activity like SIC or NACE codes. Estimates of remanufacturing activity are often the result of hard-fought bottom-up research and rely on primary data from those connected to the remanufacturing value chain on the ground. This ranges from the ATFs involved in recovering components from ELVs to core brokers to remanufacturers to distributors and the workshops that fit the products.
To address this, Oakdene Hollins, a research and consulting company advising on sustainability and the circular economy, is working on behalf of CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers to collect fresh information about the status, impact, and potential of automotive component remanufacturing in Europe. This information will help inform CLEPA as it supports its members and explore the potential CO2 impacts of remanufacturing and its future role in a low-carbon world.
And the world for remanufacturers may be on the brink of major change. The transition away from fossil-fuel-based powertrains to alternatives such as battery and fuel cell electric vehicles may mean that the prospects for remanufacturing some components will dry up, while new opportunities may appear for others. This is where your first-hand insight into the trends in the components sector are so valuable; it’s also your opportunity to shape the direction of the messages going out from the sector through CLEPA, in a coherent way, backed by sound evidence. We urge you to spend a few minutes of your time to reveal as much or as little as you feel comfortable with, and even pass on the link to others.
The online survey of up to 22 questions will take around 20 minutes to complete and is open until the middle of May.
All information is treated as confidential, and anonymity is assured. Follow this link for more information on our data privacy notice for the survey, and this link for the online survey here. If you have any questions about the survey or would like to talk more about remanufacturing, please do get in touch with Dr Rachel Waugh, the project lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward with gratitude to hearing about your views and experiences and for helping to shed some light on this important, but perhaps sometimes shy, activity.