Design for remanufacturing – you can’t remanufacture a product if it is not designed to be recycled

Design for remanufacturing – you can’t remanufacture a product if it is not designed to be recycled

  • March 10, 2020
  • Rematec
  • Business operations

Zoe Bezpalko, a manager of sustainable strategy at Autodesk, spoke about her passion for design and technology at the service of the circular economy and remanufacturing. She got quoted in the NY times in the article “What’s Old Can Be New Again for Businesses” that discusses that remanufacturing involves taking products to a like-new condition and is accomplished through a variety of processes and advanced by new technologies like 3-D printing.

Bezpalko commented on a growing trend for companies to plan for remanufacturing in the initial design of a product. “The circular economy starts at the design phase — you can’t remanufacture a product if it’s not designed to be recycled. For example, gluing can prevent recycling. Even black plastic can interfere, because it’s not recognized by machines at the waste management facility.” At Autodesk, based in San Rafael, USA, they make both industrial design and consumer software products.

The article also mentioned concerns of companies selling remanufactured products because it could cut into sales of companies’ new inventories, since they can cost from 20 percent to 50 percent less than a new product. “But it’s actually a huge opportunity,” said Joe Iles, the circular design programme lead of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a British organisation that promotes the circular economy. “There are already secondhand sales for many products, and the person who buys a remanufactured item might not pay the extra to buy it new.”

Read the full New York Times article here.

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