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Remanufactured semi truck parts provide benefits inside and outside the service shop

October 1, 2020

It’s no secret the use of remanufactured heavy-duty truck parts is becoming more popular. But did you know the reach of reman extends far beyond the highway?

There’s a good chance the electronics you use at home, the plane you took on your last business trip and the office furniture you’re sitting at today include at least some remanufactured components.

That’s because “remans” are mutually beneficial for manufacturers working to better serve customers and create a more sustainable environment, and end users keeping a close eye on costs, quality and ease of use.

What is remanufacturing?

The Remanufacturing Industries Council defines remanufacturing as “a comprehensive and rigorous industrial process by which a previously sold, worn, or non-functional product or component is returned to a "like-new" or "better-than-new" condition and warranted in performance level and quality.”

For large machinery components – like fan clutches and other engine parts – that means completely disassembling a used part in a controlled factory setting. Remanufacturers then clean and inspect the part, qualify cores and subcomponents that still pass quality standards and discard what’s not in spec. Parts are then rebuilt exactly to original-equipment specifications, often with the same ISO or IATF certified practices and warranties equal to or better than the original parts.

What remanufacturing isn’t:

It’s not the same as recycling, repairing or even reconditioning. Remanufacturing is a more in-depth process that requires a full tear-down of the original part followed by the process of putting it back together – using only parts that pass the same quality and reliability tests in place for OEs.

So why consider a reman?

There are a lot of reasons to use or stock reman engine components. Number one, they’re often cheaper – up to 40 percent of the cost of a brand-new replacement part – but come with the same quality and reliability. Manufacturers, Horton included, often offer credit for old cores for further discounts.

Most of the distributors we talk to mention turnaround time as the No. 1 purchase consideration factor at the parts counter. For them, it’s a balance between incurring costs associated with loads of excess inventory and making sure they have the right part right away or as quickly as possible. Some suppliers, including Horton, ease the burden by stocking remans in strategically located warehouses throughout North America and guarantee one- or two-day delivery.

Remans can also be easier to install than original parts, depending on the application.

And as the industry becomes ever more conscious of its environmental impact, remanufacturing saves energy and keeps old cores and reusable parts out of landfills longer. According to the Remanufacturing Industries Council, remanufacturing can save 85 percent of energy, water and material use compared to production of new products.