Global Remanufacturing Day, a.k.a. Reman Day, is the second Thursday in April. This year it’s April 13th. It is a day to highlight the remanufacturing industry through hosted events and workforce development initiatives. Remanufacturers are key to the circular economy. Reman Day demonstrates the innovative ways members of all industry sectors are advancing remanufacturing and substantiates the positive environmental impact of this global industry.
Critical Links in the Circular Economy
While most people probably don’t think of “recycling” as remanufacturing, it is a first link in the supply chain of the circular economy. Whether you’re recycling at home or at the office, you’ve only collected potentially recyclable materials and diverted them from the waste stream. Recycling businesses take those materials and prepare them to meet the specifications of the end-user. Recyclables that meet industry specifications can substitute for virgin raw materials. Therefore, recycling only happens when a product that someone wants to buy is made from the items you’ve collected. In fact, the benefits attributed to recycling are the benefits of remanufacturing.
Our modern day economy is linear. That is, we extract natural resources, make a product and discard it when we’re done, even if it’s still useable or useful. Now, economic, environmental and societal changes are pushing us to a circular economy in which materials and products are designed to be more durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable. This extends product life cycles and reduces waste. Recycling is no longer the exclusive purview of environmentalists and “tree huggers.” Recycling means business.
“Remanufacturing is a standardized industrial process by which previously sold, worn, or non-functional products are returned to same-as-new, or better, condition and performance. The process is in line with specific technical specifications, including engineering, quality, and testing standards. The process yields fully warranted products.
Sustainable manufacturing takes place in a factory setting. It’s manufacturing that is sustainable by definition and responsible by design. Think of it as an advanced form of recycling that focuses not on raw materials, but on the original finished product itself. In the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors, the accepted sustainable manufacturing term is remanufacturing. In aviation and aerospace, the process is called MRO – maintenance, repair and overhaul – and for consumer goods and electronics, refurbishing is the established reference.”
A Fourth Arrow?
The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, which goes by the acronym MERA , introduced a new symbol for sustainable manufacturing. It is the familiar chasing arrows recycling symbol with one extra arrow. As society drives toward a circular economy, the remanufacturing of existing products should occur before traditional recycling.
A Trusted Asset Disposal Partner
You want to dispose of it – it’s gathering dust, taking up space and looks junky. But “dispose” doesn’t mean the same thing to us and it’s not all junk! At Electronics Value Recovery, we check each device that potentially contains data individually and send it for testing for possible reuse, parts harvesting or recycling. Then we wipe each device containing data for reuse or shredding for scrap recycling. Technicians inspect wiped devices for visible wear and tear. Devices that pass inspection are prepared for resale at one of our sister companies.
The average refurbished device costs half the equivalent new item. This makes acquiring technology more affordable, helping to bridge the digital divide. EVR is a founding member of today’s TechSoup which partners with community organizations to distribute to certified refurbished electronics to non-profits across the country.
Unfortunately, not everything can be refurbished. Re-useable parts are harvested from items that are damaged beyond repair or are obsolete. Refurbished devices and parts are sold by one of our affiliated companies. We also sell to wholesale and secondary markets which have been vetted and with whom we’ve developed long term relationships. Finally, we recycle items that no longer have a useful life.
Our economy relies on technology which in turn relies on finite resources. We can recover those resources from damaged and obsolete technology for use in both new and refurbished devices. As we move from a linear economy to a more sustainable, circular economy, recycling and refurbishing become increasingly important.
Celebrate Reman2023 April 13th! Get Ready for Earth Day April 22nd!