Strathclyde stages first remanufacturing conference01 August 2011

Research at the University of Strathclyde, aimed at saving industry millions of pounds, was the focal point of the first international conference on remanufacturing, last week.

Dr Winifred Ijomah, of the University's Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM), who organised the event, believes that more remanufacturing could not only improve the bottom line for industry, but also enable businesses to better meet increasingly stringent environmental legislation.

"The process of remanufacturing aims to return used products to 'like-new' functional state with matching warranty, and is worth a considerable sum of money to major organisations and smaller companies all over the world," states Ijomah.

"At Strathclyde, we are aiming to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes being used in remanufacturing. Our real strength lies in our wide-ranging approach to look at all of the aspects that influence remanufacturing – providing the opportunity to effect change in practice and theory in the field," she adds.

Strathclyde undertakes holistic, interdisciplinary, practitioner-based remanufacturing research with 13 researchers, more than 30 industrial partners, the WEEE Advisory Board and the British Standards Institute (BSI). The BSI also adopted the definition of remanufacturing developed by Dr Ijomah.

"Over the last 50 years, the expanding population means that we can't cope with the amount of waste being produced," comments Ijomah. "Raw material and landfill space are increasingly scarce and hence more expensive.

"The increasing pace of industrialisation and the power of modern technology has increased global competition," she continues. "Organisations must reduce costs whilst maintaining quality and speed of delivery to have a chance of competing."

Ijomah points out that her department can carry out the entire process of remanufacturing goods. "We look forward to making a valuable contribution in promoting the economic, social and environmental advantages of remanufacturing."

Brian Tinham

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