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Passing a new milestone

Thursday, 8 November 2018

A major German trade association has released a new technical standards. These will give engine remanufacturers a major new tool to set themselves apart, Volker Schittenhelm explains. In accordance with its statutes, a fundamental purpose of the VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure – or Association of German Engineers) is the “development of acknowledged rules of technology on the basis of voluntary self-responsibility”. An important means of achieving this is the compilation of VDI standards in an independent body of work – the VDI Set of Standards. A consistent body of technical rules is an essential prerequisite for Germany as a centre of science and engineering. Together with other standardisation bodies, the VDI supports the objective of generating a harmonised body of rules applicable to every engineering sector and representing this in European and international committees.

Practical document
A VDI Standard is a directive, a practical document. Given its assessment and evaluation criteria, it provides a substantiated decision-making tool and serves as one benchmark for correct technical procedures. The VDI claims that the generally acknowledged rules of technology embodied in its set of standards give engineering practitioners the reassurance that, by following a VDI Standard, they are acting correctly. It has been difficult up to now to supply a precise specification of services provided in the field of corrective maintenance and remanufacturing for internal combustion engines as the relevant terms are not uniquely defined. Alternative terms in current use such as ‘replacement engine’, ‘repaired engine’, ‘overhauled engine’ and so on demonstrate the terminological uncertainty prevalent up to now.

Brand new
A VDI working group was initiated by representatives of the VMI (Association of German Engine Remanufacturers) some years ago. In collaboration with the University of Bayreuth, the Technical University of Berlin, Hyundai, General Motors and the Gütegemeinschaft Motoreninstandsetzung (Quality Alliance Engine Remanufacturing), it came up with: VDI guideline 4084 – Corrective maintenance and remanufacturing of internal combustion engines - which was published in July 2018. This standard specifies terms and defines criteria allowing the volume of corrective maintenance and remanufacturing for internal combustion engines to be described. It shows how the work volume is described and which services the customer can expect.

Big chance
The standard aims to to give manufacturers, experts, consumer associations, lawyers and end users a basis for dealing with technical issues and disputes as to whether the services offered have been provided. The standard does not deal with matters of liability – but, at the same time, it does give market stakeholders in the engine reman sector a big chance for distinguishing their own work from others. For example, they can make clear in their advertising that they are carrying out “engine reman corresponding to VDI 4084”.

The new guideline can be ordered online at


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