With the rise of the circular economy in recent years as the world’s focus shifts towards a sustainable future, new terms like “remanufactured” are taking the spotlight in company meetings.
By switching to a sustainable procurement method, a company actively aims to lower their Scope 3 emissions and are showing their stakeholders and customers they’re aware of the environmental effects their activities have.
The problem, however, is a worry that has plagued the second-user market since people began re-using and refurbishing what was once new; is it reliable and is remanufactured as good as new? Remanufacturing is as good, if not better, than a new equivalent and is required to have a warranty that meets or exceeds the original which came with the product.
The BSI Group, the organisation responsible for British Standards, define remanufacturing as “the process of returning a used product to at least to its original performance with a warranty that is equivalent or better than that of a newly manufactured product.” As well as stating that “from a consumer viewpoint, the remanufactured product can be the same as a new product.”
This means that a remanufactured item or part, sometimes referred to as “reman” or “remanned” item, can show signs of wear but often has a better overall performance than its new equivalent.
What is “remanufactured”?
To further understand the uprise of remanufacturing a delve into the understanding of remanufacturing is needed.
A remanufactured item or part is a used OEM product that has had worn components replaced after being fully stripped back. The process of remanufactured often includes, but is not limited to, disassembling, cleaning, replacing of worn-out components and the repair of everything else. This returns a like-new or better-quality product for the new user and is deemed as reliable, if not more so, than the original product.
Remanufacturing is not the same as refurbished or reconditioned and shouldn’t be mistaken as such. Remanufacturing a laptop for instance, means it must undergo a process that “returns a used product to at least it’s original performance with a warranty that is equivalent to (or better than) new” as required by the BS standard BS8887-220 and BS8887-211.
BSI defines remanufacturing as “the process of returning a used product to at least to its original performance with a warranty that is equivalent or better than that of a newly manufactured product.” As well as stating that “from a consumer viewpoint, the remanufactured product can be the same as a new product.”
What can be remanufactured?
The list of re-manufacturable items grows year on year as technology advances and the world learns more about the products it produces. Remanufacturing is often for products or parts that have a complex nature, are considered durable and have a high value meaning the cost savings versus new are worth the effort of this intensive process.
A product is particularly suited to be remanufactured if the technology within it is modern, or at the very least, will last a long time. This means that the products at their core must be something that can be reused and repurposed and are durable.
- What is a Remanufactured Laptop?
- What is Sustainable IT?
- UK construction giant, Balfour Beatty, purchases 5,700 Circular Computing remanufactured laptops
Why should we remanufacture?
Alongside the reduction in costs to the second user, remanufactured significantly reduces a product’s carbon-footprint.
This is due to unseen factors such as the lack of need to mine more precious Earth resources which in turn means less damage to our planet, less carbon emissions and less cost. It allows a product to stay in circulation far beyond its original life expectancy therefore helping to manage what goes to landfill.
What are the advantages of remanufacturing?
Remanufacturing allows the continued expectations and delivery of a high standards product in the second-user market which in turn enables the circular economy concept at its core: reuse.
The product, having the as good as or better than new seal of approval from remanufacturing will also avoid certain issues that would otherwise render the technology obsolete and often be discard. This could include mechanical failure, hardware malfunctions or even out-dated technology. This in turn means that the environmental effects are great as the process significantly contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions from the product’s life cycle. These benefits are passed onto the user or company that purchase these goods in the terms of reducing Scope 3 emissions.
The perception of a used product
Remanufacturing, with all its advantages, still faces the major challenge of being categorised as second-class alongside refurbished products. This is because refurbishing has been around for a longer period without any strict guidelines in its grading system. This means that what somebody would class as ‘A-class’, another might consider ‘B-class’ and therefore the quality becomes hard to judge universally. To overcome this challenge, the wider audience of second-user products needs to be taught that remanufacturing has a strict set of quality guidelines which ensures that the remanufactured part performs better than any refurbished counterpart.
How does Circular Computing™ guarantee quality?
Purchasing a Circular Computing™ remanufactured laptop means that you are investing in a carbon-neutral, environmentally friendly product that meets or beats BS8887-220 and BS8887-211 and has undergone a 360+ step, five hour process that is backed by a BSI Kitemark™. This strict set of guidelines as well as the prestigious award that is the Kitemark is something we, at our core, are proud to say we follow.
The steps to get to such a place however have not been an easy journey and have required significant investment in both research as well as the right talent. As we grow and continue to expand our operations, we are hoping we can educate the world that our remanufactured laptops are the next step in sustainable IT.