Can remanufacturing make commercial vehicles more eco-friendly?

Remanufacturing can be a confusing concept in modern day automotive engineering. Loosely it can be thought of as the rebuilding of a product or component to its original specifications. Sometimes though, the term is used to describe particularly large repair jobs.

Normally, automotive remanufacturing is carried out with a combination of reused, repaired and new parts. There are several key parts that are normally remanufactured in commercial vehicles.

Engines are a key product. Remanufactured engines can help make commercial vehicles run more efficiently. This is particularly useful for helping trucks, coaches and other commercial vehicles meet European emissions legislation such as the ‘Euro-6’ standard.

Ecodrive are involved in the remanufacturing of gearboxes, transmissions and axles for commercial vehicles. The remanufacturing of these parts does not necessarily have the same environmental impact as remanufacturing engines, because the increases in efficiency of remanufactured gearboxes are usually negligible.

environmentally friendly truck repair While remanufactured gearboxes and transmissions do not have a direct positive effect on vehicle emissions, the process is far more eco-friendly (and cheaper) than buying a new product.

When a gearbox reaches the end of its lifecycle and needs to be replaced the vehicle owner has a decision to make

The first option is buying a completely new gearbox. Not only does this mean burdening landfill sites with a bulking great block of metal but it also means a lot more energy and raw material is used in the process of making a new one.

Remanufacturing, on the other hand, uses fewer raw materials and less energy and it is also considerably cheaper than the ‘buy-new’ option.

Auto remanufacturing in the UK

Britain is in a unique position to perform remanufacturing work. We have a strong pool of technical skills and high value manufacturing is a real source of strength in the UK economy.

Remanufacturing workshops in the UK tend to be smaller independents. This makes for a highly specialised and competitive marketplace where firms like Ecodrive are forced to work hard and innovate to succeed.

Recent research, however, points out that the country is not making the most of its remanufacturing potential. A report undertaken by the Carbon Trust and Knowledge Transfer Network found that Britain is lagging behind other countries in promoting a remanufacturing economy.

It found that the process of repairing and replacing poor performing components was being heavily and actively encouraged by governments in the USA, China, Japan and Germany – while Britain remains silent.

Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, Associate Director at the Carbon Trust, explains:  “Supporting remanufacturing and closed-loop resource use should be a no brainer. Incorporating remanufacturing into business models and products not only provides economic and environmental benefits, it can also create new opportunities for business growth and employment.”

For their part, the UK Government could help promote remanufacturing of commercial vehicle components by actively supporting smaller commercial fleets to become more environmentally friendly.

Ecodrive promote sustainable commercial vehicle repair

They could also encourage the remanufacturers to be more eco-friendly. Ecodrive try to promote sustainability at every possible juncture. We use special washing agents and waste management systems and try to recycle everything from oil and water to scrap metal.

To find out more about our sustainable remanufacturing solutions click here.