A bill designed to support and increase remanufacturing activity in the automotive fleets of the Unites States Federal Government has been passed by the House of Representatives.
The Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act, which became law on the 10th October 2015, directs the head of each federal agency to “encourage the use of remanufactured vehicle components to maintain federal vehicles if using such components reduces the cost of maintaining such vehicles while maintaining quality”.
Not only does this legislation have the potential to directly promote remanufacturing activity, but also further reinforces the definition and understanding of remanufacturing, a practice that is often confused with repaired, used or ‘second hand’ goods. The new Act clearly defines “remanufactured vehicle component” as
a vehicle component (including an engine, transmission, alternator, starter, turbocharger, steering, or suspension component) that has been returned to same-as-new, or better, condition and performance by a standardized industrial process that incorporates technical specifications (including engineering, quality, and testing standards) to yield fully warranted products.
Increasing remanufacturing activity forms a key part of the transition to a circular economy, and analysis suggests that maximising the number of consecutive cycles for a product or component can offer significant resource, energy and hence financial savings for technical products in many instances when compared with other routes, such as recycling. Renault are one such example, offering ‘as good as new’ parts that are 30-50% less expensive, whilst also saving on water, energy and chemical inputs.
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