The brands DRI, Elstock, Lucas, and TMI are supplied by one of Europe’s largest remanufacturers, Borg Automotive. Here, we look at the benefits remanufacturing brings to the aftermarket.
Remanufacturing offers many benefits including the functionality, performance, and look of original automotive parts. In addition to this, the energy and CO2 emission used for remanufacturing is reduced compared to manufacturing of a new part, and the environmental impact of scrapping is also significantly reduced. This makes remanufacturing an important part of the circular economy.
Component remanufacturer Borg Automotive offers a wide range of each product within its portfolio, aiming to provide an offering for almost all cars. Importantly, Borg only uses OEM parts for remanufacturing and all are remanufactured to match their original standard.
The Danish giant offers eight product groups, comprising starters, alternators, A/C compressors, turbochargers, EGR valves, brake calipers, steering racks and steering pumps. These are remanufactured at its own production sites in Poland, Spain and here in the UK. As a remanufacturer, Borg controls the entire process from parts and production to sales and service. The supplier claims that this level of control gives it an advantage when it comes to quality control and testing and indeed, all units are individually tested, whilst the production process has been certified according to ISO standards 9001:2015 and 14001:2015.
What actually happens?
To remanufacture automotive parts, used products, namely cores, are retrieved. The remanufacturer sells its remanufactured units with a deposit, which is returned to the customers if they send back the unit they are replacing. The core the remanufacturer receives in exchange for a remanufactured unit is sent to the core warehouse, in Borg’s case this is in Poland. In fact it’s the largest core warehouse in Europe with more than one million units ready for remanufacturing.
The remanufacturing process is carefully executed and thus needs special attention throughout the entire process. This is due to the advanced and challenging remanufacturing process, which each part demands.
The remanufacturing process takes place in Borg’s own production sites and consists of six steps:
- Disassembly: Defective units undergo a complete disassembly process and parts that cannot be reconditioned are disposed of.
- Cleaning: The individual parts are given a thorough cleaning with several cleaning treatments, such as hot water and sand blasting, ultrasonic cleaning, etc.
- Inspection and sorting: Cleaned components are subject to an intensive inspection to determine if they are in a re-useable condition. This is done both visually and with test equipment measuring if the tolerances are within the acceptable limits.
- Reconditioning and replacement: At this stage re-useable parts are reconditioned, e.g. through galvanising and grinding of the parts. Parts that in the previous stages have been disposed are replaced with new parts.
- Reassembly: The remanufactured units are reassembled.
- Final testing: Each remanufactured unit undergoes a 100 per cent performance test to ensure that the unit matches OE standards.
Every unit is tested both at high and low pressure. This is because different errors show and occur at different pressure levels.
Remanufacturing is a significant contributor to a circular economy, where as much material as possible is given new life, and as little as possible goes to waste. Remanufacturing extends the product’s lifespan by bringing a defective product to the same standard as it was when it was first manufactured. A study shows that remanufacturing on average saves 96 per cent of the raw materials used in manufacturing the original automotive part. Consequently, the environmental impact is also minimised.
Tips and tricks
When replacing a unit, it is important to match the OE number on the old unit to that of the purchased unit. More often than not, there are several product numbers available, for the same vehicle model and engine. Failing to match the OE number, the customer is at risk of receiving a unit that fails to communicate with the car, and thus will not work properly. To help the customers select the right model, Borg Automotive has developed a model search system on its web shop, where it is possible to search on the OE number and then get the right unit for that specific number.