Now is the time

With many motorists closely monitoring their spending, now may be the moment for remanufactured components to shine

Published:  07 December, 2020

COVID-19 has caused a whole slew of scenarios that no one saw coming a year ago. One that was pretty apparent early on in the pandemic though was that many people would be looking to make savings where possible, and the independent garage sector tends to do well when the cost of going to the dealer becomes unsustainable.
    Once you have the customers, you need to continue to help them. Just because your labour rates are lower, in some instances the sheer cost of replacing parts will make repairs very expensive. In these instances, remanufactured components may be the answer.

Process
Echoing the previous article in this issue, we start with steering. “Quality is the key word when it comes to steering systems,” said Edin Elezovic, Product Manager for Steering at BORG Automotive, “as the latter ensures that the driver is in control of the vehicle. Customer-perceived quality is exactly what BORG Automotive, the owner of brands such as Elstock, DRI and Re-EX, invests substantial effort, time and resources in achieving. The goal is ultimate quality at least on a par with OE parts. Nothing less.”
    Edin continued: “The process of remanufacturing is based on expertise in remanufacturing which stems from many decades in the market. It uses innovative engineering methods devised by the company itself to allow for the most effective process and quality assurance. All the components the organisation remanufactures pass through the same process. They are dismantled, cleaned, inspected and sorted, reconditioned or replaced and reassembled. Finally, each unit is individually tested and subject to a rigorous inspection before being painted and packed to meet customer expectations and requirements.”
    Among the different product groups at BORG Automotive, the steering products - racks, pumps and electric columns - are all remanufactured at BORG’s plant in UK, where the steering know-how and expertise is located.
    Edin observed: “Regardless of the vehicle segment, BORG remanufactures to the highest standards so the customers can install the products with peace of mind. Only OE cores are remanufactured and all critical components are fully replaced to ensure the highest quality. During the quality check, all cores and parts are visually examined and the tie rods are subject to strict OE standard internal compliance. After dismantling, the parts will undergo the multistage washing process to ensure the cleanliness of all internal and external parts. After assembly, the units are subject to our electronic end-of-line testing using real-world simulation to ensure their functional performance is at OE level.
    “BORG Automotive’s steering products have experienced an incredibly high growth rate. Such progression is driven by racks, specifically the hydraulic power family, the volume of which has quintupled in the last five years thanks to BORG Automotive’s structured approach of process development and continuous focus on improving quality, which has now achieved its highest point historically.“
    He continued: “We have achieved a level of quality that our customers are very much satisfied with. For instance, we can see that the number of claims we receive is almost four times less compared with two years ago. This level of quality is necessary to satisfy our OEM customers."

Mechatronics
To sustain growth in the long term by confronting the transitions taking place in mechatronics, BORG Automotive’s engineers in UK have focused on implementing processes and testing procedure that enable the remanufacturing of the latest generation of electric power steering racks, even those requiring fault-tolerant and time-deterministic protocols such as FlexRay.
    
“We believe that electronic steering racks will be the most common type of steering rack in the future,” said Edin “and we actually expect that more than half of the European car parc will be fitted with ESRs in the course of the next 10-15 years. We have therefore made massive investments in our ongoing work with mechatronics, which means that we are prepared with new technologies to expand our product portfolio.”
    
BORG Automotive is continuously developing its remanufacturing processes and is adding many new products to the existing ranges. It is investing a great deal in exploring new car models in the market and is researching how to remanufacture these parts, which is the key to sustained market coverage. As an example of this, BORG recently released racks for the latest BMW and Ford applications.
    
“In our newly built mechatronics facility, we created an ESD protected area (EPA). This gives us the opportunity to effectively control and avoid issues caused by electrostatic discharge (ESD), as this can have a damaging effect on components and products containing electronic circuitry. For the new facility we have developed our own electronic testing equipment in order to ensure high-quality products.”  
    
Edin went onto say: “We have expanded our mechatronics team as we are fully aware of the future of mechatronics within the field of steering racks. We have an in-house facility built for this purpose with an ESD-protected production area.”
    
He added: “Thanks to all this, steering products from BORG Automotive offer quality on a par with OE parts. But it is not just the quality that is extremely important to BORG Automotive; it also wishes to provide the best possible customer experience when it comes to remanufactured automotive parts, which is why the company continues to strive to offer a plug-and-play solution so that the mechanic enjoys an uncomplicated installation experience.”

Additions
Remanufactured component providers are adding more product all the time, across the car. With this in mind, Ivor Searle recently added manual transmissions for the Ford Fiesta, Focus and C-Max to its all-makes range of gearboxes for cars and LCVs.  The newly-added applications include units for 1.0 litre petrol EcoBoost derivitives of the Fiesta and Focus, as well as 1.6 litre diesel DuraTorq powered versions of the Focus and
C-Max.
    
Commenting on the company’s reman programme, David Eszenyi, Commercial Director at Ivor Searle said: “Ivor Searle‘s remanufactured gearbox programme covers around 90% of the UK’s vehicle parc and cost up to 40% less than OE.  For peace of mind, all Ivor Searle gearboxes are covered by a 12-month unlimited mileage parts and labour warranty.”
    
David concluded: ”In addition, Ivor Searle holds comprehensive stocks to ensure first class customer service and minimum vehicle downtime and provides free next day UK mainland delivery for stock items ordered before 3.30pm.”


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