New from old: the benefits of automotive remanufacturing

David Eszenyi 2017

David Eszenyi, commercial director of engine remanufacturing specialist, Ivor Searle provides an insight into the world of automotive remanufacturing and its benefit to the fleet sector.

Remanufacturing is a fundamental part of what’s called the ‘Circular Economy’.

This concept champions a range of activities including reuse, sharing, pay-per-use, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling, in order to preserve natural resources, reduce energy usage and avoid landfilling.

Typically, a remanufactured engine will save 55kg in core metal, so it’s a cost-effective alternative to manufacturing brand new, whilst also saving on raw materials and energy.

Multiply that by the number of new build engines across the world and the amount of weight involved is almost planetary.

Not only that, on average, 85% of an engine’s original components will be brought back to OEM specification in a high standard remanufacturing process.

Remanufacturing requires substantially less energy.

In fact, the process typically uses 85% less than manufacturing and at the other end of the cycle, reduces the quantity of landfill and associated energy needed for disposal.

According to a report published by The European Remanufacturing Network (ERN), the remanufacturing sector could triple in size within Europe and be worth €90bn by 2030.

At present, it is estimated to be just under €30bn, around 2% of the size of the new manufacturing market.

The UK is one of the four leading remanufacturing countries in Europe, alongside Germany, France and Italy.

Much of the current market is in the aerospace sector but this is followed by the automotive industry.

Despite the fact that remanufacturing has been around for more than six decades, there’s still confusion in the automotive market regarding remanufacturing and reconditioning. The two are fundamentally different.

The remanufacturing process returns a product to at least its original specification and performance with a warranty that is equivalent or better than that of the newly manufactured product.

In contrast, a reconditioned engine is a unit that has been stripped or disassembled, cleaned and may have had some damaged components replaced prior to being rebuilt.

Furthermore, a remanufactured engine is required to meet a specific standard for it to be described as such under BSI AU 257:2002. This is a British Standard Automobile Series Code of Practice that applies to the remanufacturing of petrol and diesel engines.

With cost reduction, sustainability and corporate social responsibility high on the agenda in the fleet industry, remanufacturing of major units such as engines, gearboxes, cylinder heads and turbos, presents extremely credible and sensible commercial sense.


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