Oct 23, 2018
REMADE Institute is a consortium of industry, academia and national labs working together on early-stage applied research and development of technologies that could dramatically reduce the embodied energy and carbon emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production and processing. One of the key goals of REMADE is to increase use of secondary materials through recycling, remanufacturing or direct reuse.
As part of its first project call, the REMADE Institute selected six public-private partnership projects focused on remanufacturing industry priorities that are anticipated to start work in the first quarter of 2019.
Two projects, one led by the University of Illinois, and a second by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), will focus on developing methods to assess the amount of accumulated fatigue in aluminum and iron/steel components. The goal of the projects is to better assess the remaining life of metal components by early detection of microcracks in used components.
There are also two projects, one led by Iowa State University (ISU) and a second by RIT, that focus on improved methods for detecting process defects during thermal spray operations. The ISU project will analyze the dynamics of the spray process, while the RIT project will look at methods of directly detecting defects at the surface after spray processing. The goal of these projects is to improve the quality of thermal spray repairs and improve overall process yield.
The final two projects are led by RIT and focus on improvements to processes for remanufacturing electronic components. Potted electronics are very difficult to repair due to the difficulty in removing potting material without damaging the circuit board. Different laser and blasting technologies will be evaluated as approaches to cost effectively remove hard and soft potting materials. Another project will investigate methods to detect defects that might not be detectable from the functional testing that most remanufacturers currently rely upon to evaluate the condition of circuit boards for reuse. A variety of different defect detection processes will be evaluated for detection of mechanical defects such as partially cracked solder joints and pad cratering. The ultimate goal is development of an automated process to detect these types of defects.
REMADE is also in the process of releasing its second call for proposals, which includes several topics that should be of interest to remanufacturers.
The remanufacturing topic in the upcoming call seeks new processes which can significantly increase component reuse yield in remanufacturing processes. This topic includes improving existing repair processes to significantly increase salvage yields, or the development of new processes that enable new component salvage opportunities including increasing the number of times that a component can be reused.
Product design is also a major focus of REMADE, and the second project call will also include a topic that is focused on developing improved engineering tools that implement “design for remanufacturing” criteria. The goal of this topic is the development of tools to automatically evaluate designs with respect to lifecycle criteria, including ease of disassembly and repair, and propose design alternatives that offer quantifiable benefits to the remanufacturing process.
Remanufacturing Industries Council (RIC) Board Member Dr. Nabil Nasr and CEO of the REMADE Institute recognizes how these remanufacturing projects can impact the future of our business.
“We have a golden opportunity like never before in the history of industry - we have funding, a huge national plan for what to do and significant partnerships. Now it is up to all of us to execute this plan,” Dr. Nasr said.