The shift towards a circular economy is key to the transition towards net zero carbon emissions. Keeping construction machines – and their parts – in action for longer, to maximise their useful life, is a core part of Volvo Construction Equipment’s sustainability ambitions. And it’s an approach that is proving popular with customers too.
Moving from a linear business model, in which we make new products and simply discard them at the end of their life, towards a circular one, which embraces remanufacturing, refurbishing, repurposing and recycling, is right for customers and also the planet.
Volvo CE machines are built to operate with the smallest possible impact on the environment. The life cycle of every piece of construction equipment is thought through, right from the development stage. The less we need to use new materials to make parts and machines, the more we are conserving the use of precious resources.
A new lease of life for old parts
At Volvo Reman, old components are given a new life. After complete dismantling, cleaning, checking and repairing to make them as good as new, everything from engines and their surrounding parts, transmissions, hydraulic parts, driveline parts and some electronics are given a second life.
David Forsman, product manager at Volvo Reman says: “The planet’s resources are finite, so we need to make sure we use them carefully and extract maximum benefit from them. With Reman, we take used, worn parts and in many cases make them even better than they were when first bought, by including any available updates and the latest specifications.
“We reuse up to 85% of the original material and what cannot be reused is recycled. By taking old parts and returning them to new condition, we are keeping them in circulation and avoiding the need for new parts to be manufactured. It takes 80% less energy to build a reman component compared to manufacturing from new, which means CO2 emissions are significantly reduced too.”
The benefits are not only environmental. The delivery and replacement of a Reman part is quicker than traditional repair, meaning improved uptime for customers. And with the new part coming with the same warranty as that for a brand-new component, and at an attractive price, it’s a popular choice for customers.
Still going strong
Volvo CE’s commitment to maximising the life of its machines extends beyond its work with machine parts to entire machines. Its Certified Rebuild Programme takes old machines and gives them an update ready for a second or even third life. In Volvo certified workshops, worn parts are refurbished or replaced with Volvo approved used parts and updates such as air conditioning or new seating can be added before the machine is returned to the customer ready to be put to work again.
“With Volvo Certified Rebuild, we can tailor the rebuild and updates to the customer’s unique requirements so they can get the latest technical specifications,” says Forsman. “The work is carried out by skilled engineers, improving the lifespan and efficiency of the machines.”
Certified workshops are already in place across Europe and International markets, North America, Indonesia and China and more are on the way to extend the life of Volvo machines across the globe.
Waste not, want not
For customers looking to purchase a used machine, Volvo CE’s Approved Used Equipment service provides the perfect solution. Used machines are inspected by Volvo trained technicians to ensure quality, performance and reliability and come with a Volvo Approved Used warranty, giving customers peace of mind.
“The market for approved used machines is huge – and it’s growing,” says Anders Sjöström, Used Equipment manager for Volvo CE Region Europe and International. “We almost can’t keep up with demand.
“Obviously the price for used machines is lower than that for new, and customers like that the machines are ready to buy now and they don’t need to wait a long time for delivery. And by buying a Volvo Approved Used machine, they know they will get a high-quality machine that’s all set to be put to work.”
The environmental case is clear too. By purchasing a Volvo Approved Used A40G articulated hauler, for example, around 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions are saved in comparison to the production of a new machine. And when the machine reaches the end of its serviceable life, 95% of materials can be recycled.
Anders continues: “With customers keeping a new machine for an average of three years, clearly there is plenty of life still left after that time. We are, therefore, keen to ensure we get maximum life from our machines. It’s good for the customer and for the environment.”
More and more customers are setting their own sustainability goals and by offering used parts and machines, Volvo CE is providing a variety of solutions to help its customers meet their commitments and in doing so, ensure the life of its machines for the next generation.