Retrofit, Rebuild and Remanufacture

Often there is confusion between what constitutes a retrofit, rebuild and remanufacture for a machine tool.

: The term retrofit usually means an upgrade to just the CNC control without refurbishing any mechanical component. In computer world it can mean an upgrade to the operating system and other applications without upgrading the hardware. A retrofit costs about 30 percent of the price of a new machine.

: Rebuild generally means that all of the mechanical components of the machine are cleaned, inspected and then reassembled using new or re-machined components. A rebuild costs about 33 percent of the price of a new machine.

: Remanufacturing (rebirth) includes all the activities in a retrofit and rebuild plus design changes which improve the machine’s performance beyond its original specifications. Remanufacturing is justified only on specialized high investment equipments requiring better performance than the existing satisfying the process requirement. The cost of remanufacturing depends upon the extent to which design changes are required.

Reference: The 3 R’s: Retrofit, Rebuild and Remanufacture by Scott Ashworth