There was a spirit of collaboration at the EU roundtable which followed the opening ceremony at ReMaTec 2017. Looking at the issue of what was required if the European reman industry was to grow more quickly, the high-level discussion brought together remanufacturers from the aviation, healthcare and IT industries as well as automotive reman and EU policy.
“We’re all remanufacturers,” pointed out Dan Vukelich, of the Association of Medical Devices Reprocessors. “I believe in the saying ‘a high tide raises all boats’. I like to work with other associations.” Derk-Jan van Heerden of the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association, agreed: “I hope that I can learn something from you and you can learn something from me.”
Panel chairman David Fitzsimons (right), of the European Remanufacturing Council, said that reman’s problem was still that it is seen as perpetuating an old technology. There were wise words on that subject from last year’s Remanufacturer of the Year – Bayreuth University’s Rolf Steinhilper, who is about to retire after a professional lifetime in reman. “Be patient with persuading the public – but never give up,” he said, citing the example of keynote speaker Rogier van Camp at LEAPP, which remanufactures Apple products and is gaining consumer acceptance.
“Maybe now it will move faster,” Steinhilper added. Summing up the panel, ReMaTecNews editor Adam Hill commented that the discussion proved there were grounds for optimism because “we have much more in common than that which divides us”.