Remanufacturing is bringing companies — once competitors — together to learn how to be better manufacturers, said participants in a special Rematec webinar held Tuesday 21 February 2023.
The webinar, titled “Eyes on the US: The evolving landscape of remanufacturing in the U.S.” brought together a team of highly experienced manufacturing professionals:
- Rajiv Ramchandra, the founder of Recreate India Research Foundation and recipient of the prestigious "Reman of the Year" award;
- John Chalifoux, the Chief Sustainability Officer for MEMA and the Chief Operating Officer of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers;
- Jeffrey Stukenborg, the Head of Global Reman Engineering at ZF Group and Chair of the Remanufacturing Industries Council;
- Shawn Zwicker, the Global Leader for Cummins remanufacturing;
- P.T. Muldoon, the CRP Automotive Director of Engineering and Chairman of the Technology & Operations Council of MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing
The webinar was held in advance of the next Rematec Amsterdam, being held June 27-29, 2023.
“I thought I'd take a moment and set the stage especially for anyone who may be new to the topic of remanufacturing,” Chalifoux said. “Maybe you're tuning in because you're looking to attend your first Rematec show this year. Or maybe you're intrigued by the quality value and green aspects associated with remanufactured goods. Quite simply, remanufacturing is manufacturing.”
“It is manufacturing — with reuse,” Chalifoux said. “And given that it's a higher form of manufacturing, remanufacturing is also referred to as responsible manufacturing or sustainable manufacturing. And that's because the process starts with original products.”
“The process starts with original products that were previously sold or are worn or non-functional. And those goods are returned to the marketplace where they can meet the needs of society. The remanufacturing process gives goods a second life. And it has all the rigor of the manufacturing process,” Chalifoux said. “Whether it's a car or truck part or your mobile phone or computer, when the remanufacturing process is complete, the finished good performs like new.”
P.T. Muldoon, CRP Automotive’s Director of Engineering, said companies are seeing each other more as partners these days. Muldoon is also chairman of the Technology & Operations Council of MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing.
Remanufacturing has become a company mentality, he said. “It’s really been almost a shift in our policy as a company. We invested heavily. We opened an office,” he said, mentioning his proximity to the University of Michigan. CRP is immersing itself in research.
“We're looking as a company to understand that the next wave of this is going to be not necessarily recycling but ethical manufacturing remanufacturing … where there are 60, 70, 80 percent usable goods still remaining in the core that's coming back,” said P.T. Muldoon, CRP Automotive Director of Engineering.
He added that companies are working together to solve any issues surrounding sustainability. “We put engineering in here. We're interfacing with a lot of what we would use to call our competitors and now we call them our neighbors because in order to take this hill together as companies, we've got to change our mindset and you'll see more of that,” he said.