Remanufacturing which is becoming the standard term for recycling by manufacturing “good as new” products from used products in an industrial (series production) scale, looks back to an almost 65 year long history. It started in the United States of America and in the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1940 – the time when World War II fully occupied their industries with aircraft, tanks and weaponry manufacturing.
While no private car (not to say spare parts) production existed in the US for five years in those times, remanufacturing obviously offered the only way to keep America’s cars on the road.
Meanwhile, not only the world wars, but also the cold war belong to history and do not influence our industrial economies too much any more. Industrial production of private industrial products, whether it comes to cars, electric or electronic goods, does not at all suffer from undercapacity any more. In most areas, the ever-increasing productivity has led to overcapacities, making up to date products of the finest technology and performance available in any quantity and at even falling prices.
So, where is the chance and where is the future for remanufacturing under such economic circumstances? From the first authors’ work for both the manufacturing and the remanufacturing sector over the past 25 years, extended by an international viewpoint in particular from the second author’s research, the following work report and outlook about remanufacturing can be given in 10 theses.