Engine remanufacturing – good news and bad news
1.OEMs are accelerating their commitment but there may be losers.
This latest shard of good news about the engine reman market comes from UK-based engine remanufacturer (and increasingly a manufacturer of brand new engines, too) Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions.
Mike Hague-Morgan, Autocraft’s managing director, says that in 2014, all of its OEM customers increased resources in support of more engine remanufacturing. For some, the investment was significant.
‘They genuinely want to promote reman and gain the environmental benefits that remanufacturing provides,’ he says.
As we all know, engines are getting smaller, more compact and more powerful. Some, like Ford’s Ecoboost engine, have a footprint no larger than an A4 sheet of paper.
You can see what’s coming, can’t you.
The trends in remanufactured engine development are encouraging. Mike Morgan says:
‘We have over 10 projects running where we are working with different OEM’s to develop remanufacturing specifications, processes and solutions for future engine designs.’
The problem for more traditional engine remanufacturers as a whole is that the latest engines are becoming increasingly difficult to remanufacture.
Autocraft has invested around €2.5m in Plasma Transferred Wire Arc technology at its Grantham manufacturing plant. Such investment is opening the world’s eyes to a new cleaner, more modern and sustainable industry.
Mike Morgan thinks it’s a trend that will help to change perceptions that engine remanufacturing is dirty and uses old technology. It will, but it also adds another barrier – an investment barrier that’s set particularly high – for the average engine remanufacturer.
The OEM strategy looks to be a winning one that could be said to be good for the environment. However, It will limit entry into the sector by smaller entrepreneurs and it will strangle the life out of many of the more traditional businesses that have served the independent garage network so well. It’s not such a good result for a competitive market. An unfortunate consequence, or a decisive victory?