Closed loop parts cycle


To supply a sufficient number of old parts available for reprocessing, the return of old components from the markets must be safeguarded in the required quantity and quality.

First, the relevant sources of the old parts must be identified. For an automotive OEM for example, it certainly makes sense to collect removed, old parts directly from its own workshops. However, the purchase of old spare parts may also be an alternative. Warranty returns for example, may also be used. After the potential sources have been identified, it is then necessary to assess whether the old parts are available in the quantity required for remanufacturing.

Consequently, a reverse parts cycle must be set up. In this case, topics such as incentives for the return of parts, parts identification and packaging as well as the proper collection and return of old parts play a special role. Repairs on an industrial scale can only be considered when the return flow of the parts is ensured. Finally, the old parts must be evaluated for their actual „remanability“. Due to the fact that there is usually only very little information available about the condition of old spare parts, they must be inspected after the goods have been received. In this case, the development of diagnostic know-how as well as the development of a stable process and rules for diagnostic reporting is indispensable. This is the only way in which the quality of the old parts and consequently the quality of the repaired parts can be continuously guaranteed.

Questions and Answers

How do I obtain old spare parts which I can remanufacture?

The fact alone that it makes sense from a technical and business perspective to establish remanufacturing in the company does not suffice. Old spare parts that can be repaired are needed in sufficient quantity and quality. You obtain these from the markets – based on the incentives of your process partners, you can ensure the corresponding return shipment of the components. External sources may also be considered.

Can I remanufacture every old spare part?

Despite confirmed technical feasibility, it is not automatically said that all old spare parts can also be repaired. As the origin and condition of the old parts is frequently unknown, they require intensive examination and assessment. Only a positive result facilitates repair. However, this requires the development of know-how and the implementation of clearly defined rules for the consistent assessment of old parts. Some old parts will enevitably be lost.

How do I coordinate the return of old parts?

To ensure the return of used parts by means of stringent processes and rules, the entire dealer organisation must be enabled and trained to implement and apply these. In addition, it is imperative to handle the recovered old parts consistently and on the basis of defined rules – we therefore recommend that our customers introduce adequate master data logic at an early stage. Taking into account the existing parts portfolio, specific number ranges are therefore defined and implemented in order to distinguish the old parts and repaired spare parts from the rest of the portfolio. Taxation, customs and stock keeping are other aspects that need to be considered and can be a challenge.


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We’re connected: As member of the advisory board of Rematec, the world’s leading platform for remanufacturing, and a member of APRA Europe, the association of automotive parts remanufacturers, our goal is to network industry representatives, stimulate cross-industry exchange, and provide guidance and support to members through our experience and expertise.