Remanufacturing means making something to its original specification, using a combination of reused and repaired elements as well as new parts. It is used in products ranging from photocopiers to military vehicles – and it’s perfect for office furniture.
Remanufacturing is not the same as refurbishing. Refurbished furniture has had work done on key problems, such as replacing worn upholstery, while remanufactured office furniture is disassembled and rebuilt according to the original design.
The photocopier industry was an early adopter of remanufacturing; if you have a photocopier by Ricoh, Fuji, Xerox and Kyocera, then the chances are you already have a remanufactured item in your office.
And in many important ways, remanufactured is actually better than new, particularly for office furniture.
Here is why…
Remanufacturing checks, resurfaces and redeploys the long-life components of furniture (like steel frames), which are expensive to make from virgin resources. So remanufactured furniture is typically less than half the cost of new, with no loss of quality.
Remanufactured furniture can be tailored for your office – from colours & finishes to sizing to maximise occupancy without affecting user comfort. Combine your existing furniture (remanufactured, of course) with externally sourced remanufactured pieces and sustainable new items to benefit from the latest trends.
Because remanufacturing occurs locally, it creates UK jobs. The disassembly, remanufacturing and reassembly required creates twice as many jobs as assembling from virgin materials.
For large projects where a meaningful period of employment can be provided, Rype Office employs local disadvantaged staff. For example, eight long term unemployed with disabilities were engaged for a three month project in Wales, creating an employment pathway that resulted in three finding full time positions at the end of the project.
Remanufacturing improves the national balance of payments – which means we are sending less of our country’s wealth overseas. Resource security is improved because so we rely less for our prosperity on the supply of virgin materials from other countries. It also creates jobs, stimulating the national economy and increasing the tax base to benefit everyone.
Remanufacturing reduces embodied GHG emissions and waste, so is recognised with BREEAM, LEED and SKA credits. Furniture over 18 months old is WELL compliant and we know and control all of the substances going into our products.
Remanufactured furniture often has a story. For example, we provided our client Public Health Wales with desks from the Bond movie Spectre. Client NAOS has Italian leather sofas formerly sat on by billionaires visiting a leading private equity firm who had the sofas in their reception.
WRAP estimates that in 2012 this amounted to 75,000 tonnes in the UK.
Remanufacturing returns items to their original condition. Avoided raw material mining reduces damage to biodiversity and preserves finite resources, avoided transport saves greenhouse gas emissions and avoided processing from virgin raw materials saves substantial energy and water.
Experts have quantified these benefits from remanufacturing to be:
- 85% production energy use reduction (Giuntini & Gaudette, 2003)
- 80% materials saving (McKenna, 2012)
- >90% water saving (Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC))
- >80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (ARTC)
When remanufacturing, we apply the seven layers of quality:
- Brands. We remanufacture office furniture from good brands, including Vitra, Herman Miller, Orangebox and Senator, because they have timeless aesthetics, quality components and modern ergonomic adjustments.
- Materials. We use top materials suppliers like Camira and Egger.
- Equipment. Our workshops use precision equipment to produce flawless finishes.
- Technology. We adopt the latest technologies and develop new techniques to restore furniture to pristine condition.
- Processes. We disassemble, check parts, resurface, replace worn components, assemble, test and inspect.
- Grading. We offer three grades of remanufactured furniture. See our office furniture quality grades.
- Warranty. We warrant our parts and workmanship.
No compromises. We stand behind our work by guaranteeing to take it back when you no longer need it.
Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, Singapore, website http://www.artc.a-star.edu.sg/about-artc/remanufacturing.aspx [accessed April 2014].
Giuntini, R., Gaudette, K. Remanufacturing: The next great opportunity for boosting US productivity, Business Horizons, Nov-Dec 2003, p. 44.
McKenna, R. President and CEO, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Testimony before the International Trade Commission on: Remanufactured Goods: An Overview of the U.S. and Global Industries, Markets, and Trade, Investigation No. 332-525, Feb 2012.
Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Furniture Mass and Product Flow Data to Inform Re-use Market Development in the UK, Oct 2013.