One of those companies is John Deere, which is taking an increasingly active role in REMADE by linking it to its own remanufacturing facility, John Deere Reman in Springfield, Mo.

And while remanufacturing is a process with intent, REMADE is a movement based on possibilities — and those possibilities are gaining steam, Jena Holtberg-Benge, factory manager at John Deere Reman, said.

Originally a Tier 3 partner, Deere is now one of 35 Tier 2 members. The classification change takes the company from basic participation to a more influential role with representation on REMADE's governance board, access to federal funding, and most importantly, Holtberg-Benge said, participation in full projects with the opportunity to accelerate the use of any intellectual property (IP) generated as the result of a project.

Deere has several projects at various stages of development in the REMADE process. For example, the "Rapid Damage Identification to Reduce Remanufacturing Costs" initiative is being conducted in concert with Iowa State University and involves prototype defect detection vision/laser systems to identify cylinder head damage. A cylinder head feeds water and fuel into the combustion chamber and vents out exhausts, it's a critical aspect of the engine and makes up 10 percent of the weight or steel used.

The vision or laser system would be housed on-site at John Deere Reman and assist in better crack or defect detection on cylinder heads in particular. This could then reduce the damage done during the cleaning process, allowing further reuse of cylinder head materials in the finished engine.

While the project is in a feasibility or early product development stage, Holtberg-Benge said it benefits John Deere by providing additional resources (Ph.D. professors and Ph.D. engineering students) as well as project management assistance and puts new and different technologies at Reman's disposal.

The goal, she said, is to identify the defects as the heads are being disassembled from engines coming from the dealers. The REMADE project outlines the fallouts that occur in between stations and, depending on the type of cylinder head and process used, the impact can range from a 20-40 percent reduction in fallout during processing. Improving Reman's ability to identify that damage means quality issues and work toward reclamation of the heads is enhanced.

"The whole intent of REMADE was, "Let's create some speed. Let's get more industry engagement so we can get solutions to market and actually do something," Holtberg-Benge said.

 
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