Will reman make a big connection with electronics?
The big question in this issue is about the increase in electronics in vehicles – and the rise of electric vehicles themselves. Both have brought a massive change to the automotive industry. But will this translate into opportunities for remanufacturers?
Clemens Ortgies, president, FIRM
“It’s an opportunity but also it’s a challenge. Our industry has a certain structure: it’s a small- and medium-sized entity business so we cannot expect a small company to invest a lot into new technologies, new remanufacturing of electronics. So we have to help them – maybe we have to found some new associations or maybe we have to find a way of more companies working together. Our association, FIRM, could be a platform for that – and also ReMaTec could be a platform to find partners and to find solutions for the increased content of electronics in vehicles.”
Fernand Weiland, former chairman of APRA Europe and author of Make New Again
“All products will in the future will be controlled electronically – not only my iPhone but, in my car, the power steering, the brakes and so on. This is a challenge for the remanufacturer if he doesn’t embrace electronics: he will go out of business. But the remanufacturer who does embrace this technology can easily differentiate himself from his competitors. On the other hand, it is a must – we are living in an electronic world.”
Craig van Batenburg, CEO of training company ACDC
“The Industrial Revolution was roughly 200 years ago: in the transportation industry, things are changing. Electric cars will be popular – 20 years from now, most cars will be electric. Remanufacturers are going to suffer because electric cars require 15% of the work over 3,000km than gas or diesel cars. Everyone knows this. Nothing’s really different between the US and Europe: we have an aged workforce, with ‘mom and pop’ repair shops, and the younger generation isn’t really coming into this. People won’t get trained, so shops will fold and become bakeries! There will be less to remanufacture. So if they’re smart, companies will move into something else: electric trains or trolley cars maybe. I’m 66 and I’ve seen industries come and go. There is plenty of warning if you’re willing to take a look.”
Volker Schittenhelm, FIRM
“It is an opportunity because electronics are getting a big share in our daily life. As long as we do not have specialists who are able to remanufacture electronic devices then we will be lost in the future. We need these absolutely. In the automotive industry, if we talk about cars from the 1980s like Porsche 928 and BMW 850, these are ‘old timers’ but have at least 40 to 60 ECUs in them. They are wearing out and we cannot wait for the OEMs to offer these all the time So we need solutions by OEMs or independent stakeholders to be able to remanufacture the electronic devices - but with regard to security issues.”
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