Consultants at Oakdene Hollins are participating in a new R&D project, funded by Innovate UK, called The Autonomous Remanufacture of Complex Products (ARCP).

Remanufacturing relies heavily on the diagnostic and problem-solving abilities of skilled technical staff but, even so, some stages of remanufacturing are repetitive and potentially capable of being automated - for example, initial inspection and disassembly. The problems of automation are also apparent in normal manufacturing, but remanufacturing has the added complexity of dealing with a variety of incoming products in damaged or dirty states which significantly complicate the inspection and automation tasks.

ARCP, led by pioneering Homeodynamic Autonomy Ltd, is undertaking technical, operational and financial analysis of the processes involved in remediating example automotive components to understand critical steps and the role of robotics. Using the process knowledge of MCT Ltd and ReconTurbo, and the robotics expertise of University of Birmingham, the project will analyse, encode and trial automated process steps that can accommodate demand variability.

Oakdene Hollins - the consultancy that operates the CRR - is managing the exploitation of the developments, and assessing their wider impact and what potential future development steps are needed in this and other technological fields to enhance remanufacturing further.