Review of the year: 2019
- December 17, 2019
The 10th edition of the Rematec show in Amsterdam – and a successful expansion into China. The RotY Awards. The loss of a valued colleague. Increasing consolidation in reman. It’s been quite a year. Adam Hill looks back… and forward.
Remanufacturing can save the planet – it’s official. The United Nations International Resources Panel report (which, alright, yes, actually came out at the back end of 2018) highlighted the importance of reman when it comes to advancing the world’s sustainability agenda. We all know that’s the case – but this report, authored by revered industry authority Dr. Nabil Nasr, gave figures to back the argument up. A great way for Rematec News to kick off the year, anyway. Global Reman Day and Earth Day will give us more opportunities in 2020 to put the message across.
2019 will be remembered as the date when Rematec expanded into China. It’s a massive step which reflects the myriad opportunities available in that vast market. The southern city of Guangzhou is near the epicentre of the Chinese government’s strenuous efforts to make reman work. Yes, there are still challenges for European and North American remanufacturers when it comes to China – but ignoring them will not make these go away; and greater understanding may throw up new ideas. This new show is a good start.
Corks were popped in Amsterdam, as Rematec’s Remanufacturer of the Year (RotY) Awards threw up three worthy winners, in Fernand Weiland, venerable sage of the reman industry, plus Knorr-Bremse and US firm CRP Industries.
The end of the year is traditionally a time for taking stock and there was certainly some sad news for the industry. Salvador Munoz Zarate, boss of Wabco Reman Solutions, died in February at the young age of 46. Rematec News was honoured to report on the many fond tributes to this tireless friend of reman – a former RotY Award winner himself - who was, more importantly, a likeable and decent human being. Elsewhere, the trend for consolidation continued with several big acquisitions: for example, Stanadyne snapping up Pure Power, while US group ATC Drivetrain bought UK reman stalwart ATP. And there was another interesting development too: for the first time, automotive original equipment manufacturers began to be a little more open about their remanufacturing activities. Of course, OEMs have been into reman for decades – but it felt like there was a shift in attitude this year. This makes sense: environmental concerns, legislation prioritising sustainable manufacturing and a growing acceptance by customers that not everything has to be bought new are three good reasons why OEMs do not need to be ‘shrinking violets’.
In his Rematec 2019 keynote address, Dick Cruslock, Volvo Cars strategy and programme manager, global customer service, outlined Volvo’s long reman history and offered some insight into current practices. Almost more important than what he said was the fact that Cruslock was there – it is the first time that a major auto maker has taken to the platform at the show. Rematec’s OEM-Reman Network, launched in Amsterdam, is onto something.
What else? Well, the first International Forum on Wind Turbine Remanufacturing took place at Rematec, to see what the wind energy sector could learn from automotive – a reminder that many sectors could benefit from remanufacturing expertise. Also, RotY winner Dr. Daniel Koehler, in the guise of America’s old recruiting sergeant Uncle Sam, urged APRA members to come forward to be volunteer ambassadors for the organisation.
And finally…Brexit. Still. Three years on. We seem to have been talking about it forever. Oh well. At least it’s nothing important. Roll on 2020…