Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, is presenting an in-depth analysis and assessment of remanufacturing’s environmental and energy benefits at the second World Remanufacturing Summit in Shanghai, Republic of China, this week.
During his presentation, Nasr, a world-renowned expert in remanufacturing, will discuss how industrial activity and rising levels of public consumption of manufactured goods are fueling concerns about the related environmental impacts and degradation of natural resources.
“Remanufacturing has the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of manufacturing by leveraging the residual economic value in return products,” Nasr said. “Due to the need to make a wide range of products more sustainable, remanufacturing is widely seen as a viable strategy to promote sustainable manufacturing. Accordingly, researchers and policy makers have become increasingly interested in accurately quantifying the environmental benefits of remanufacturing.”
Remanufacturing is an industrial process that restores worn and discarded products to a like-new condition. The restoration is a high-quality process through which products are systematically disassembled, cleaned and inspected for wear. Damaged components are replaced, feature upgrades can be incorporated, and the product is reassembled. Reliability testing is performed to ensure performance meets specifications.
In response to questions about lifecycle energy benefits when it comes to the remanufacturing of powered products, Nasr will present detailed case studies involving the remanufacturing of printer cartridges and diesel engines—including the product characteristics that affect the lifecycle energy benefits of the two products. He also will quantify the benefits of remanufacturing both of them.
After providing an overview of the sustainability benefits of remanufacturing related to the two case studies, he will conclude his presentation with a discussion of a recent study of remanufacturing in the United States.
China’s National Key Laboratory for Remanufacturing is bringing together the world’s highest-level experts from the remanufacturing industry as well as leading scientists, engineers and other remanufacturing specialists from across the globe for the Dec. 2-4 summit under the theme, “Partnering Industry and Science: Bridging Today Tomorrow.”
The China National Development and Reform Commission—China’s most important economic planning body—is expected to use this week’s summit to announce new policies for remanufacturing in China, further highlighting the summit’s role in facilitating links between remanufacturing companies with science and research worldwide.
The event is a follow-up to the first World Remanufacturing Summit at Bayreuth University in Germany in September 2012, which was organized by Bayreuth in partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Key Laboratory for Remanufacturing in Beijing. The partnership between the world’s three leading remanufacturing research institutions at Bayreuth attracted a global audience, resulting in the decision to hold future summits annually, rotated between Europe, Asia and the United States.
According to Nasr, the Golisano Institute for Sustainability is scheduled to host the inaugural summit in the United States during the fall of 2014.
Remanufacturing is being increasingly recognized as a necessary step toward a sustainable, closed-loop, low-waste economy and an efficient method for capturing 85 percent of the materials and the labor, energy and manufacturing processes embodied in original products.
According to Nasr, contemporary U.S. remanufacturing industrial activity encompasses thousands of product categories, including cell phones, laptops, jet engine parts and armored ground vehicles.