UK Remanufacturing to Worth £5.6bn

Remanufacturing presents a huge financial opportunity for the UK and could give British manufacturers a competitive edge.

At its crudest, remanufacturing involves rebuilding, repairing and restoring an end-of-life product to meet or exceed its original performance specifications, with a warranty to match. It’s considered one of the more valuable resource flow routes of the circular economy, yet it’s still a fledging industry – particularly within the UK and Europe. According to arep ort from the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG), the UK’s remanufacturing market is valued at £2.4bn, yet has the potential to increase to £5.6bn.

“Remanufacturing presents a huge financial opportunity for the UK,” asserts APSRG’s manager Laura Owen. She points to the US, which has the largest remanufacturing industry in the world. “Between 2009 and 2011 the value of US remanufactured production grew by 15% to at least $43bn (£26bn). This supported 180,000 full-time jobs in over 70,000 remanufacturing firms.”

Susanne Baker, senior climate and environment policy adviser at manufacturers’ organisation EEF believes that remanufacturing could give British manufacturers a competitive edge “if they can crack the model”. She says it’s about getting used products back to the factory in a cost-effective way.

“It presents an opportunity to reduce operational costs significantly,” she says. There are many studies to draw on, but remanufacturing typically uses 85% less energy than manufacturing and in some cases, can be twice as profitable.

Two sector groups unlikely to want to gel are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third party remanufacturers of the same product category – printer cartridges being a case in point. “OEMs need to work to ensure the design stage of the manufacturing process is transparent to enable any third party remanufacturer to be able to disassemble and then remanufacture the product. This is something that is not always done,” says Owen.
(Source: theguardian)

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