Now in its third year, the 2019 World Remanufacturing Conference (WRC 2019) continues to find new ways to help engineers and business owners learn and grow their remanufacturing skills and knowledge. Two intensive short courses will be offered by the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) at the Rochester Institute of Technology. They intend to give WRC 2019 attendees an opportunity to learn directly from researchers outside the traditional conference setting through a mix of lecture presentations, discussion, and hands-on learning activities.

New offering in condition assessment

New to this year’s agenda is a short course dedicated entirely to condition assessment, a fundamental step in the remanufacturing process. “Condition Assessment for Remanufacturing” will combine a lecture style with more interactive teaching in a GIS lab.

The course will be taught by Kristi Schipull, senior materials engineer at GIS and deputy technical node leader at the REMADE (Reducing EMbodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions) Institute, a national consortium that enables early-stage applied research and development of sustainable manufacturing technologies. Schipull will walk participants through a comprehensive overview of condition assessment, what it is and how it works. She will cover its central technologies, principles, and applications, while highlighting emerging innovations within the field.

Remanufacturing begins with a “core,” the product or component returned to a facility at the end of its life. It might be like-new, heavily worn or damaged, or anywhere in between. “Assessing the condition of a core is a critical step in remanufacturing. It sets the stage for choosing which processes are required to return it to a same-as-new state, if not better,” Schipull said when asked about the importance of condition assessment.

Schipull designed the course for industrial engineers who are new to remanufacturing, as well as business specialists seeking a broader understanding of the industry’s technical workings. To do this, she will explore how different condition assessment technologies work (such as magnetic-particle, dye-penetrant, ultrasonic, and eddy-current inspection), what scientific principles inform them, how to evaluate their suitability for specific purposes, and the best practices for implementing them.

Expanded and improved course on sustainability

Last year’s conference was the first to feature short courses. A popular option was “Determining the Environmental Benefits of Remanufacturing,” which returns this year improved following feedback from its 2018 participants.

The course was created by Brian Hilton, senior staff engineer at GIS. Through his work with remanufacturing businesses, he discovered a knowledge gap. While most remanufacturers value the resource-efficiency ethos of their industry, many are unaware of how it connects to concepts like sustainability or the circular economy. Hilton sees this as a missed opportunity for growing the remanufacturing sector as environmental impact is increasingly a concern for businesses and consumers.

“The global adoption of reman as part of a circular economy could reduce industry’s use of raw materials by 80–99% and energy consumption by 57–87%,” he pointed out during last year’s course.

Hilton’s half-day course gives remanufacturing engineers and other professionals an intensive introduction to the methodology and terminology used for assessing the sustainability of a remanufacturing operation. He will show attendees what a life-cycle assessment (LCA) is and how it is performed. He’ll also identify the kind of data that an LCA requires and how they are collected. An important learning objective of the course will be to reveal how sustainability metrics can form part of a company’s marketing and outreach.

Attendees from last year expressed a desire to see case studies integrated into the curriculum. In response, Hilton updated the course with a selection of GIS projects he has managed to highlight practical takeaways.

More information and how to register

The two short courses will take place at GIS (on RIT’s campus) on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the day before WRC 2019. “Determining the Environmental Benefits of Remanufacturing” will be from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and “Condition Assessment for Remanufacturing” will take place the second half of the day (1:30–4:30 p.m.). Each course costs $325 and includes lunch.

Visit the WRC 2019 website to learn more and to register.