Reman Ready

The second annual Global Reman Day presents a powerful learning opportunity for participants at John Deere Reman – Springfield

Students listen to their tour guide pointing at a remanufactured component in the Springfield facility

Decked out in reflective vests, safety glasses, bump caps, and gloves, dozens of high school students wind their way through a 130,000-sq.-ft. factory in southwest Missouri to witness the rebirth of John Deere engines, hydraulics, and drivetrains. Moving from station to station, they take in the sights and sounds around them — the burst of a welding spark, the clatter of lift chains — as skilled technicians break down, clean, and restore critical machine components before reassembling and returning them to like-new condition.

The students, many of whom are members of the local Future Farmers of America® chapter, have come to John Deere Reman — Springfield, along with their teachers and mentors, to participate in the second annual Global Reman Day, an international event established by the Remanufacturing Industries Council to increase public awareness of remanufacturing and emphasize its impact on the economy and the environment.

Josh Kempel, Global Sales and Marketing Manager for John Deere Reman, believes these tours are key to growing the industry both worldwide and right here in Springfield. “We want students to understand the value of remanufacturing,” says Kempel. “We want them to see for themselves how we transform parts and components. These kids are the future of agriculture, construction, and forestry, and they need to know that Deere is committed to sustainability and protecting the environment. We also want them to be aware of the many career opportunities within the remanufacturing industry and that Deere can be a great employment option as they look for jobs after high school and college.”

We want students to understand the value of remanufacturing. We want them to see for themselves how we transform parts and components.

Josh Kempel, Global Sales and Marketing Manager for John Deere Reman, wearing a John Deere hat and safety glasses.
Josh Kempel
Global Sales and Marketing Manager, John Deere Reman

HOME SWEET HOME

Springfield, Missouri, is home to three of four John Deere Reman factories in North America: John Deere Reman – Global Core Collection Center, John Deere Reman – Springfield, and John Deere Reman – Electronics. The fourth factory, John Deere Reman – Edmonton, is located in Alberta, Canada. For the last 20 years, the team in Springfield has dedicated its efforts to returning previously used, worn, or damaged parts back to like-new condition through a rigorous manufacturing process.

“Throughout all of our facilities, our processes focus on building quality products,” says Kempel. “Each part is disassembled and cleaned before going through multiple inspection and qualification processes, which the students can experience up-close on their tours. All critical dimensions are measured and brought back to OEM [original equipment manufacturer] specifications through various reclamation techniques. During the reassembly of components, our factory-trained technicians follow strict guidelines and procedures including multiple quality checkpoints. And finally, the components are tested against our OEM design specifications to ensure they’ve met all performance requirements.”

Kempel is also quick to highlight the numerous benefits of the remanufacturing process, which employees reiterated to students throughout the day. “Our reman parts cost 25–30-percent less than new components, which means lower repair and overall ownership costs for John Deere equipment. Our reman program improves uptime thanks to component exchanges, giving customers the power of productivity when they need it most. We’re providing high-quality parts backed by a factory warranty. And remanufacturing saves an average of 85 percent on energy use, 86 percent on water use, and 85 percent on material use when compared to the manufacture of an original part. These kinds of statistics really stand out to students.”

 

Students learn about processes and operations at the Springfield facility.

Students learn about processes and operations at the Springfield facility.

WORKING TOGETHER

To round out the Global Reman Day activities, several employees volunteered to collect hazardous and unwanted materials at a temporary drop-off zone in a parking lot just south of the factory. “We encouraged our employees to bring in paint, pesticides, and whatever else they had at home, so we could safely and properly dispose of these materials at no cost to them,” says Kempel. “It’s just another way we’re demonstrating our commitment to protecting the environment.”

At this year’s event, the three Springfield-based facilities collected 6,195 lb. of hazardous and unwanted junk, including drain cleaners, used motor oil, rust solvents, light bulbs, and computer monitors. As fellow employees pulled into the drop-off zone, technicians, supervisors, managers, and engineers worked together to lift, collect, and sort the materials into temporary containers bound for regional disposal sites.

From the early morning to late afternoon, Kempel and the John Deere Reman team exude a great deal of passion and pride about the day’s events. “Those of us who work in the industry know the benefits of remanufacturing, and the value we provide to our customers, communities, and the environment,” he says. “But the most rewarding part of Global Reman Day is showcasing our employees, processes, and products to people who don’t normally get to see what we do — or even understand why we do it. Events like this are a great opportunity to share our hard work with the world.”