Increased pressure for sustainable practices in all sectors of the global economy presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges for electronics manufacturers. Product lifecycle management (PLM) is one area ripe for innovation. Electronics PLM processes have changed in recent years to reflect the evolution toward sustainable manufacturing, and the rise of electronics remanufacturing reflects a wider industry trend of a more connected world of products and a more conscious, responsible approach to the product lifecycle.

This blog outlines opportunities and challenges for electronics manufacturers, and how choosing an appropriate partner for remanufacturing can help solve new PLM challenges.

Opportunities: Remanufacturing & Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

As the push toward sustainable manufacturing continues, manufacturers of electronic components are presented with a new set of opportunities. The most important opportunity is to establish a robust PLM process that takes an assembly from product launch through the end of its serviceable life. This process should encompass proactive planning around core seeding as well as thought toward environmental sustainability. Effective modern PLM processes help keep more product out of landfills.

When in warranty and in production, products must maintain a high level of functional integrity and are expected to appear as new. Further down the product life cycle, however, remanufacturers engineer processes that minimize the need for end of line testing. This is achieved through a combination of recertification, targeted repairs and an automated test procedure co-created by the remanufacturer and the OEM.

To fully take advantage of these opportunities, think of working with the right partner to develop a PLM strategy that works in the modern global economic environment.

Challenges: Remanufacturing & Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

The complicated landscape of sustainable electronics manufacturing and more responsible PLM presents some interesting challenges for manufacturers. These challenges can include:

  • In-house PLM

  • Customer service

  • Distribution

  • Core returns and storage

  • Reverse logistics

The solution for organizations like GM, Ford and Christie Digital has been to choose the right remanufacturing partner to help handle PLM. The following section explores some important points to consider when selecting a partner.

How to Choose a Partner for Electronics Remanufacturing

As electronics proliferate nearly every facet of manufacturing, evolving processes and consolidating service center networks can be two ways to reduce cost, streamline operations and boost profits. Finding a quality remanufacturing service center to rely upon is one essential step for manufacturers trying to optimize the PLM process. Vetting an expert remanufacturing partner takes diligence, but when the right PLM practices are in place, the entire process of OEM can improve.  

Qualities of a Great Remanufacturing Service Center

  • Efficient processes

  • Holistic PLM approach

  • Comprehensive demand analysis

  • Core management

  • Remanufacturing and distribution

A remanufacturer with robust industry experience will be able to strategically wind down the remanufacturing program as demand begins to wane through the end of the service life. One of the key goals at the conclusion of the program is to have a minimal amount of remaining inventory, thus mitigating the need to scrap obsolete product, which ends up in landfills.


In this series, we’ve outlined the steps needed for core seeding and identified the benefits of choosing the right PLM partner. Click here for the final resource in this series, "Leveraging Strategic Electronics Remanufacturing: The Importance of Flexibility in Equipment Testing."