Reman 101

Definition of Remanufacturing

As defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)1, “Remanufacturing is a comprehensive and rigorous industrial process by which a previously sold, leased, used, worn, or non-functional product or part is returned to a “like-new” or “better-than-new” condition, from both a quality and performance perspective, through a controlled, reproducible and sustainable process.”

Remanufacturing is not the same as recycling, reconditioning, refurbishing, reusing or repairing, but can include all of these activities.

Remanufacturability Criteria2

  • Technology exists to restore the product
  • The product is made up of standard interchangeable parts
  • Cost of the “core”3 is low relative to the cost savings achieved through core reuse
  • The product technology is stable over more than one life cycle
  • Sufficient market demand exists to sustain remanufacturing operations/enterprises


  • Job creation (local and skilled)
  • Higher profit margins
  • New manufacturing techniques
  • Better customer relationships
  • Reductions in:
    • Raw material consumption
    • Energy consumption
    • CO2 emissions
    • Waste sent to landfill
  • Lower prices (by 60-80%)
  • Product availability
  • Purchasing flexibility

Sectors and Product Areas that can be Remanufactured2

SectorProduct Areas
Automotive & Other Transport16
Compressors, Turbines, Valves5
Electrical/Electronic Apparatus29
Machinery & Related Equipment29
Laboratory, Medical, & Surgical12
Office Furniture/Equipment3
Toner & Ink Cartridges2
Total 121

Remanufacturing Industry Sizes Worldwide5

  • Japan: €3.8 billion
  • Denmark: €300 million
  • South Korea: €670 million
  • Malaysia: €825 million
  • UK: £3 billion
  • USA: US$43 billion
  • EU: €30 billion

Common Challenges6

  • Lack of standards and legislation: The lack of a commonly accepted definition and standards for remanufactured products in various sectors has been identified as the most prevalent barrier
  • Lack of life cycle design awareness: Many barriers encountered during the reman process could be eliminated if proper design features were included in the early stage of product design
  • Lack of sufficient market demand and core supply: A lack of understanding and negative perception of remanufacturing have limited market demand for remanufactured products
  • Skill/technology challenges and limited information sharing: Many of the decisions made during the remanufacturing process require technically skilled engineers or technicians

1 – RIC001.1-2016: Specifications for the Process of Remanufacturing:

2 – Remanufacturing: An American Resource. William Hauser, Robert T. Lund. 2012. Boston University:

3 – A core is a worn, failed, or end-of-use part, assembly, or product of a branded or Original Equipment Manufacturer product that is retained with the objective of restoring or improving its original functionality through remanufacturing, or for use as a source of parts for a remanufactured product. RIC001.1-2016: Specifications for the Process of Remanufacturing:

4 – Why Remanufacture: Centre for Remanufacturing & Reuse (CRR), UK:

5 – Remanufacturing Market Study. European Remanufacturing Network. 2015: pdf

6 – Yang, S., M. R., A., Kaminski, J., & Pepin, H. (2018). Opportunities for Industry 4.0 to Support Remanufacturing. Applied Sciences, 8(7), 1177. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

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