Opportunities for remanufactured electronic products from developing countries : hypotheses to characterise the perspectives of a global remanufacturing industry

11 Apr 2008

Global legislative and market pressures are increasingly enforcing the concept of product life cycle management (LCM), or product stewardship, particularly in the electronics sector. Thereby, from an environmental perspective, end-of-life regulations and obligations require the technology managers of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in developed countries to consider remanufacturing and reuse as an attractive economic alternative to expensive recycling and the final disposal of electronic products. Furthermore, developing countries offer an expanding market for affordable quality spare parts, especially for the repair of cellular phones and household appliances. These dissimilar markets could be complementary from the perspective of the remanufacturing sector. Additional requirements of this relatively informal sector in developing countries must be considered, specifically product cleaning processes and test routines that may necessitate the transfer of technologies. Also,training and formalisation are needed to deliver quality services in the repair sector of developing countries. Potential market niches may also exist for inexpensive products from a formalised remanufacturing industry. Therefore, by moving from international isolation to global integration, remanufacturing and repair will profit from networking and synergy efforts in four arenas of the electronic product life cycle chain: market participants, products and applications, neighbouring technologies, and international regions.