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What is Remanufacturing?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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Remanufacturing is a form of recycling that reuses machines that no longer work. This process is performed by disassembling a machine to repair it, recycle it, or harvest its parts. Remanufactured equipment is available in many types of machines, including home computers, office equipment, and appliances. Vehicle manufacturers and auto repair specialists often remanufacture vehicles for resale.

One way to remanufacture a machine is to refurbish it, and another is to repurpose the good parts. Refurbishing a machine means repairing a machine by inspecting it for parts that are broken or worn, and restoring the machine to a like-new condition. Repurposing parts means that a technician takes it apart and removes parts that are still in working order for use in other machines. Products made new by remanufacturing are often called aftermarket remanufacturing products. A machine that cannot be fixed or harvested may be recycled into scrap material.

Remanufacturing helps reduce the amount of waste put into the environment as a result of broken machines. It can save space in addition to reducing harmful chemicals that come from disposing of electronics like computer monitors. Remanufacturing of equipment is considered to be a socially and environmentally responsible step for a company that handles a lot of electronics. For expensive parts, remanufacturing can prove cost effective, but sometimes the effort and labor put into recycling hardware costs more than replacing the hardware.

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Many companies remanufacture equipment or use remanufactured equipment to reduce waste and save money on hardware. Remanufacturing can also be performed on vehicles and other non-computerized machines. Transmissions and vehicle engines are commonly remanufactured or rebuilt and placed back into the vehicle, usually with a guarantee.

Purchasing remanufactured systems can be a low-cost option for those working with in a budget. Remanufactured systems are generally held to the same standard as new systems when the consumer purchases them from a manufacturer or retailer. They often have the same warranties as new systems. Like new systems, remanufactured machines can have occasional malfunctions that require the machine be returned to the manufacturer for exchange or repair.

When shopping at an electronics store, it is important to recognize the difference between remanufactured products and returned products that were repackaged and reshelved at a discount. A remanufactured product is one that has been examined by a qualified technician and repaired until it is like new. In most cases, discounted returned merchandise is usually only looked over by a store employee for completeness or signs that it does not work and has not been repaired to match the quality and function of a new piece of hardware.

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