The establishment of common definitions 18 months ago was a big step forward – but what sort of certification (if any) do remanufacturers really need?
Back in 2016, six leading reman associations reached common defi nitions of basic reman terms – an important step in raising awareness of, and confi dence in, remanufactured products. But what sort of certifi cation process is most appropriate for remanufacturers to prove their worth? Indeed, should companies even go down this route? Do customers understand its value? Anything that demonstrates the quality and reliability of reman is to be applauded – but is that what certifi cation of processes, for example, really does? Peter Bartel offers a personal view on the value of
industry certification...and considers how simple the world is for a German engineer.
By definition, we know that remanufacturing is an industrial process. This basic understanding is well accepted in our industry community and among our customers. In our industry it is state of the art to have an implemented quality system supporting the management to run the enterprise. And it makes sense that, with a third party certification, the management gets external review on where the company stands in the development process of its management systems. It is confusing to see that some companies use the result of such third party reviews for marketing purposes - and even better, to communicate that being a certified, structured company would be evidence that it is remanufacturing quality products. This kind of communication is misleading the customer and proves that the respective communication manager is new in the business. Even more confusing is the fact, that nowadays the management of a remanufacturing company can purchase a certification:
- proving that what he is doing is remanufacturing (BSI PAS 3100:2014)
- that even when it is only a tested used part he can name it remanufactured - and if it is remanufactured he is allowed to name it rebuild, refurbished or repaired (RIC001.1-2016)
- that if he is member of a specific remanufacturing association and has implemented a basic quality management system like ISO9001 he can brand his product to be ‘manufactured again’
To pay for a certification to get the evidence that they are already certified - what? For me as a German engineer this is strange. I would propose not to confuse our customers but to stick to a simple commitment:
As remanufacturers we are proud to provide a quality product, restored from an existing part (core), using standardised industrial processes in line with specific technical specifications. This remanufactured part is given the same warranty as a new part and it clearly identifies the part as a remanufactured part and states the name of the proud remanufacturer.
It could be so simple.