Remanufacturing Benefits Both Business and Earth

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In recent years, remanufacturing has seen a resurgence. The process restores end-of-life goods to their original working condition, so it's even called "the ultimate form of recycling."

As Rajesh Krishnan, program manager at Wipro Technologies, explains, "the advancement of technology over the years has allowed for remanufacturing to salvage and reuse old parts without compromising the quality of the remanufactured product."

MSNBC recently introduced a program to bring attention to sustainable progress and the people behind the movement -- with remanufacturing as a focal point. It is also suggested that 3-D printing could be "the future of remanufacturing."

It can be easy to confuse remanufactured goods with recycled, repaired, restored and even used goods. In remanufacturing, the primary components have to come from used goods, which are dismantled, inspected and cleaned, with parts replaced if needed before reassembly.

Who's Remanufacturing?

A quick look at remanufacturing news will reveal new frontiers like remanufactured jets being sold for the first time in the Middle East and the opening of crane remanufacturing centers.

One company that has been remanufacturing for decades has been Caterpillar (CAT). Under the Cat Reman name, it has reduced the amount of materials going to landfills since 1973 -- when it began remanufacturing on-highway diesel truck engines. The last decade was a milestone in company environmental efforts as Cat Reman's U.S. and overseas remanufacturing facilities returned more than 500,000 tons of materials from the scrap heap.

As initial demand for remanufactured truck engines grew, Cat Reman expanded. Today, Cat Reman works in marine, petroleum, electric power and other industries, employing more than 4,500 people across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
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