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Growing demand for reman

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Before-and-after-the-sale support has never been more sought after and even more demanded by fleet operators. Their goals for remanufactured components are high quality, lower price, strong unlimited national warranty and fast availability of the exact component model needed for a repair or replacement.

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“We fully recognize truck operators’ requirements for remanufactured components: They must cost less, they must be like-new in quality and performance and quickly accessible, and they should make environmental sense,” offered Sanjiv Khurana, president, Detroit Remanufacturing, Daimler Trucks North America. “Remanufacturing represents a compelling low-cost/high-value proposition—it’s truly sustainable manufacturing. Our commitment is to pursue technology and processes to minimize the impact of our reman’ing business on the environment and to offer end-users reliable component life.”

Khurana told this writer that remanufacturing is the highest form of recycling—re-using raw materials, conserving energy by reusing old parts rather than melting them down, and reducing the generation of waste by keeping old parts out of landfills. The broad, six plant operation supplies engines, axles, transmissions (and soon the DT12), fuel systems, turbochargers and most recently, industrial electrical components like circuit board assemblies and engine controllers.

“Remanufactured components are a smart price-point alternative for all fleets and vehicles, but especially the second and third vehicle owners. Those operators tend to prioritize different than original owners, and the focus on the initial acquisition cost is often heightened as the vehicle ages and changes owners,” he emphasized.

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Khurana pointed out the distinct differences that reman offers over “rebuilt:” The incorporation of current technical specifications, including engineering, quality and testing/validation standards to yield fully warranted products. Plus, the units are updated with engineering improvements and upgrades.

According to Detroit Reman, remanufactured engines and parts average 20 to 30% below the cost of new engines/parts and deliver a comparable level of quality backed by a nationwide factory warranty.

“The potential costs savings of producing remanufactured products over the cost of producing new is significant,” Khurana said.In aftermarket parts—including reman components, availability is king —when business is good, you rarely hear of pricing problems. More than ever, truck operators rely more heavily on fast, reliable delivery and service because their wheels have to be moving to make money. Distributors, dealers, fleets and other end-users are being squeezed at every turn for margin, cost reduction and reduced working capital.

The true “aftermarket survivor” must flourish in a tough market by staying true to its convictions of high parts availability and responsive delivery of quality parts. In fact, with reman transmissions and differentials, the dealers need those products when the truck breaks down. Dealers value the ability to offer a high-quality reman product for a fraction of the cost of a new one from companies they trust.

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To take full advantage of the lower priced reman components, the old parts or cores need to be returned for their “core value,” Khurana said. “Part of our job is to manage the cores through our channel [dealers and distributors]. Astute management of the core inventory is vital to maintaining the competitive pricing on reman components and ensuring the right model is available when needed by the truck operator.

“We’re finding new ways to reclaim material—saving money and helping save the environment, that’s a good combination,”he continued. “Our team will take reman to the next level at our new manufacturing industrial electronics reman facility in Hibbing, Minn.—going beyond the metals in engines and transmissions and moving into electronics including engine controllers and chassis modules.”

DTNA’s customer service support center, complete with toll-free phone and online training courses, helps train technicians at the fleet and the dealer or distributor.

The stars seem aligned on this issue. Khurana is bullish on reman…it will grow in popularity worldwide, and more truck fleets of all sizes are experiencing reman’s value solution ”as good or better than new.”

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