There are many reasons Bendix is big on remanufactured parts. Right up there is our four decades’ worth of experience in remanufacturing all sorts of air system, braking, and safety components. Add to that the sustainability benefits that come from energy and materials savings over manufacturing new components, and the price advantage over new parts without sacrificing OE-level quality, and it’s even easier to see why the industry is looking to reman in ever-greater numbers.
Of course, reman’s appeal also creates opportunities for confusion in the aftermarket, particularly in the case of “rebuilt” components.
Although the terms “remanufacturing” and “rebuilding” seem similar, they differ greatly when we’re talking about vehicle parts.
Remanufacturing always involves either replacing or repairing a core’s components to bring the part up to its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specifications, and includes replacing “wear” components such as gaskets, washers, and O-rings with brand-new versions. In the case of things like valves and air compressors, for instance, these wear components are vital to maintaining air quality and system operation.
On the other hand, when a rebuilder breaks down the core of a part for reuse, such as an air compressor, they may simply clean or repaint its parts, reuse the wear components, or replace them with inferior versions, since they may not have full access to OEM-quality replacements. Similarly, post-production testing is much more rigorous at an OE-level remanufacturer, where the resources and expertise are already in place.
To offer another example, to remanufacture a brake shoe, it must be coined in a press to return it to its exact OEM shape and specifications before relining it. A rebuilt or relined shoe that hasn’t been coined may not retain the original OE shape due to wear during normal usage cycle. This change in shape will affect consistent friction attachment and ultimately impact overall braking performance.
Further muddying the aftermarket is the issue of low-cost clone parts, generally offered as all-new alternatives that may be packaged and designed to appear similar to OEM products.
Beyond surface appearances, though, there’s just too much mystery to be trusted: The product specs, testing, components, materials, and manufacturing processes are usually unknown, whereas these things are all validated in a remanufactured part. Working with reputable, authorized dealers and looking for OEM-specific tags (e.g. Remanufactured by Bendix) or other purposeful markings will help ensure you’re getting the part you want and need.
Because remanufacturing offers the only opportunity for you to get parts that meet OEM specifications – aside from an all-new OEM replacement – we can’t stress enough the importance of asking the right questions to any potential remanufacturing partner: Do they use new components to replace non-salvageable or irreparable ones? Do they always replace wear components with new ones? What testing do they use to validate their parts’ performance? Do they offer post-sales support through service and warranties?
At Bendix, we offer remanufactured versions of almost everything we make – brake shoes, valves, air dryers, compressors, and electronics – and our All-Makes line features more than 100 non-Bendix compressor part numbers. We’re proud to be a long-time leader in remanufacturing, and we’ll keep working to improve and expand our reman efforts, along with sharing our know-how and insight with the industry.
Visit the Bendix Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center in this video on our YouTube channel.
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