Denise Untitled 1Making It Better than New

Thirty years ago when I first started covering the trucking industry, I worked for a company that had a magazine called Renews. It covered the rebuilding industry. I always liked the name Renews — to make new again.

In the ensuing years rebuilding has given way to remanufacturing, a much more sophisticated process. And instead of making new, remanufacturing often makes products better than new.

However, in a recent survey sent to distributor readers of Truck Parts & Service only 3.6 percent of survey respondents said they thought remanufacturing made a product better than the original product, while 38.4 percent believe a remanufactured product is as good as a new product.

While attending this year’s Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, I had the opportunity to present the survey findings to the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association’s Sales & Marketing Council. MERA is comprised of the many businesses, both large and small, that make up the remanufacturing industry.

The group recently launched an education and awareness campaign called Manufactured Again. The purpose of the campaign is to heighten the understanding and acceptance of remanufacturing.

The group has developed a definition of remanufacturing: a standardized industrial process that recovers and recycles end-of-life products (cores) and returns them to their “same as new” or better condition and performance.

It is interesting that MERA has taken time to define reman because several survey respondents commented on the need for not only a definition, but a set of standards. “At one point our industry should consider a set of standards for remanufacturing. As it stands now, the term means many different things to many different people,” one respondent said.

Defining remanufacturing and developing a certification process are the next steps in its growth.

MERA is going beyond just defining what reman is. The association also is developing a certification program “that will let customers know that reman parts from MERA member companies are truly remanufactured.”

According to MERA, the program will define minimum process criteria for products to be eligible for certification.

This is good news, especially since reman products have so many advantages and benefits. Reman is a sustainable activity. Products that otherwise would be scraped are reused.

MERA says remanufacturing contributes significantly to the reduction of CO2 and landfill wastes as well as conserving energy and natural resources. How could you not be in favor of that?

But reman does more than that. It also contributes local manufacturing jobs at a time when job creation is vitally important. And it seems to me that that is the kind of publicity the trucking industry could use.

Reman has a great deal to offer to vehicle owners, and the efforts of MERA are positive steps in spreading the word about the value of remanufactured products.

The group is working to make sure that when you sell a remanufactured product to one of your customers or install a reman part on a customer’s vehicle you have some assurance that the part is of high quality and will be reliable. And in many cases it will be even better than the original part.

Now that is the kind of effort we can all get behind.

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