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Singapore Establishes First-of-its-kind Remanufacturing R&D Centre In Asia
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Singapore Establishes First-of-its-kind Remanufacturing R&D Centre In Asia  
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Thursday, June 14, 2012 SINGAPORE: Singapore recently announced the establishment of the Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Centre (ARTC), the first centre in Asia to look into research and development (R&D) to develop technologies for remanufacturing that can be readily adopted by industry.

These technologies will enable companies and businesses to translate the end-of-life products into 'good as new' ones for the market through a sustainable process, contributing to greater cost and materials savings and, potentially, higher profit margins.

Six industry leaders, namely, Boeing, Rolls-Royce plc, Siemens Industry Software, ABB, FUCHS Lubricants and Carl Zeiss, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre to look into collaborative R&D to bridge technological gaps in remanufacturing for the aerospace, oil & gas, marine, energy, automotive and engineering industries.

In doing so, ARTC will tap on A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology's (SIMTech) R&D expertise in automation, manufacturing systems and processes, as well as the strong capabilities of local universities such as Nanyang Technological University, to carry out R&D in production-ready technologies in the areas of repair and restoration, surface enhancement and product verification.

Eight local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have also joined the Centre to co-develop technologies along with leading multinational corporations (MNCs). By engaging local SMEs and MNCs, ARTC is encouraging leading companies to develop new high value manufacturing activities in Singapore while cultivating the local supply chain in this new growth area.

Dr Raj Thampuran, executive director of the Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR, said: "The Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Centre will help industries realise remanufacturing’s economic and environmental potential through public-private collaborative R&D. Member companies can leverage on our spectrum of relevant capabilities, advanced infrastructure and high quality talent, while at the same time contribute to value-added manufacturing activities here. The Centre also represents the way in which high value manufacturing is advancing globally."

The Centre is modelled after successful manufacturing R&D centres in the United Kingdom. It will provide a platform for local SMEs to work with global leading MNC’s to develop their capabilities even in the early stages of product development, and enable them to seize business opportunities in remanufacturing.

Remanufacturing is a sustainable process that involves transforming a recovered part or product through disassembly, cleaning, testing and other operations into like-new products to be re-introduced to the markets. Remanufactured products are tested and certified to meet technical and safety specifications of new products, and are therefore sometimes sold with warranties comparable to the original. The process is more efficient than recycling because it conserves not only the raw material content, but also retains much of the value added during the manufacturing of the product.

Remanufacturing is already commonly applied in the aerospace, marine, automotive and engineering industries. A report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicts that the global automotive remanufacturing market is expected to reach $104.8 billion by 2015. In the USA, the remanufacturing industry constitutes $53 billion employing 480,000 workers.

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