PMF takes a look at one of Europe’s most high profile component remanufacturers, Borg Automotive.
Since 1975, Danish company Borg Automotive has focused on the remanufacturing of automotive units. Today, the company is one of the largest remanufacturers in the European aftermarket. The company takes pride in providing what it regards as one of the widest ranges within the remanufacturing aftermarket industry, as well as claiming to be ‘the better choice’ for the workshop, car owners and the environment.
45 years ago, the company started as an electrical workshop in Denmark. In the beginning, the workshop did general auto electrical repairs, but it soon became clear that there was a growing market for remanufactured starters and alternators. Since then, Borg Automotive has experienced rapid growth, and today the company employs more than 1,500 people in Denmark, England, Poland, Belgium and Spain. The company’s aim is to deliver the best remanufactured OE-matching automotive parts for the European aftermarket, with products being sold under well-known brands such as DRI, Elstock and Lucas.
Borg remanufactures starters, alternators, brake calipers, AC compressors and EGR valves at its Polish production sites, and steering products – which include racks, pumps and electric columns – in the UK. In addition, the company has recently acquired the Spanish turbocharger company, TMI, which has added a ninth product group to its portfolio. All products are remanufactured to match OE standards. Borg invests a great deal in exploring new car models on the market, and is researching how to remanufacture these parts, which is the key to sustained market coverage and growth.
The company currently remanufactures more than 2 million units per year, and sells its products throughout most of Europe.
There is nothing simple about remanufacturing
“Remanufacturing is not just about replacing old parts and selling used products. The remanufacturing process is a complex and challenging one, which is both demanding and enormously time- consuming,” said Edin Elezovic, Product Manager at Borg Automotive.
The remanufacturing process takes place at the company’s own production sites in Poland, the UK and Spain, which are ISO 9001 certified. The production sites in Poland and Spain are also certified to the ISO 14001 standard. Based on its expertise in remanufacturing, the company has developed its own innovative engineering methods to ensure the best possible quality. All components go through the same remanufacturing process: they are dismantled, cleaned, inspected, reconditioned and reassembled. Finally, each unit is individually tested.
“Our products must be able to last in a stressful environment. Quality is therefore very important for us, and is our primary focus throughout all the different, and often challenging, remanufacturing steps,” added Edin. Borg Automotive is able to control the entire process, from parts and production to sales and service. It sees this as the optimal way to ensure high quality – and as one of the factors of its success.
High quality products with low environmental impact
Quality is not the only priority for Borg. The company’s environmental impact is also a very important factor. According to Edin: “We are proud to be part of a circular economy and to be growing our business using a model that significantly reduces CO2 emissions.”
The remanufacturing process reduces energy consumption by removing the need to melt and re-melt for new products. Some studies show that the remanufacturing process saves up to 79% of the energy used when manufacturing an original product. Furthermore, the products are kept in use for longer, which makes remanufacturing part of a circular economy.
“For us, a remanufactured product must have the same characteristics and meet the same customer requirements as a new original product; that is why we can confidently offer a two-year warranty period for all our products,” concluded Edin.