Pipeline contractors are tough on their iron. When a machine breaks down, the downtime costs them money in more ways than one. Repairs can be expensive and a new machine is even more so, and then there’s the cost of lost work. Finding a way to save money helps contractors stay competitive in a busy market. To that end, I recently had a chance to learn more about remanufactured parts.
CNH Industrial — the folks responsible for Case IH, Case Construction and New Holland machinery — invited me down to their Reman facility in Springfield, Missouri, on Nov. 10-11 for a tour. CNH Industrial Reman began in 2009 as a joint venture between CNH Industrial and Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. (SRC), and a lot has changed in the last five years.
The company has grown from nine employees to about 250 and has spent $11 million on capital improvement to enhance capabilities in that time. The product catalog has grown from 1,500 to more than 4,000 items. The company operates on a 260,000-sq-ft building on the outskirts of Springfield, and has recently added state-of-the-art facilities to offer engines, driveline, hydraulics and fuel components.
Remanufacturing is the process of recovering used systems and components, repairing and/or replacing worn out or obsolete parts to make a new, yet also used (and less expensive) products for the buyer. The parts are also tested to ensure they meet the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) performance specifications.
Remanufacturing gives customers the opportunity to purchase replacement assemblies and components that are just like new, sometimes better than new due to engineering enhancements, at a reduced price and with an equal or sometimes better warranty, says Kurt Coffey, sales and marketing director for CNH Industrial Reman.
The “Fuel Room” was particularly impressive. A recent $2 million upgrade, it’s a 1,200-sq-ft, air-locked certified Class 6 clean room that looks more like a medical operating room than an equipment repair facility. Everything is behind soundproof glass, and the technicians wear sterilized gowns and booties like doctors performing delicate surgery.
According to my tour guide, clogging and dirt build-up are the two biggest concerns for fuel injectors. Just a quarter of a human hair can cause fuel failure. The state-of-the-art facility can filter air particles down to a micron. If you want to know how small that is, a human hair is about 70 microns.
To ensure air quality in the Fuel Room remains ideal, eight high-efficiency particulate filters clean the air, circulating 4,800 cubic feet of air per minute, while a blower system replaces all the air in the room every two minutes. Mag locks control personnel access, and materials are passed through an interlocking door system. All of this is in the middle of what otherwise looks like a typical parts factory.
In another part of the CNH Industrial Reman complex sits a similarly controlled environment, though not quite as intense. This newest addition, a multimillion dollar hydraulics facility, was introduced earlier in 2014. Right now the new division remanufactures pumps and cylinders, Coffey says, but additional products such as valves are on the horizon. The division will be fully online in 2015. Coffey estimates the investment upward of $3 million to $4 million upon completion.
By adding these more advanced capabilities, Coffey says CNH Industrial Reman is “going down the punch-list of what we started in 2009.”
“Our history is we’re best in class for driveline,” he says. “It’s the history of who we are. With our engine line gaining more capabilities, we’re filling out our portfolio. Fuel components and hydraulics are the next two biggest aspects of the plan. It’s what our customers need.”