Lots of hardware vendors talk about remanufactured and refurbished products today, but the terms can be confusing to the unacquainted — particularly since definitions have been loose, subjective, and ripe for interpretation.
Remanufactured: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines remanufactured imaging equipment as a “product that meets one of the product types defined in Section 1.A 1-8, which has been returned to a 'like-new' state of the base model, including energy performance, by the manufacturer, utilizing new and/or reused components from the original equipment manufacturer."2
Refurbished: Refurbishment can mean a lot of different things, with no standardized definition yet to be established by any authoritative body. Refurbished equipment may include unused customer returns, unwanted items donated to a business or charity, or returned products still under their warranty.
Unlike most refurbished equipment, remanufactured devices follow stringent guidelines of quality control and standardization. During this process, repairs or replacements are made to worn out or obsolete components and modules, allowing the device to be rebuilt to the standards of a new machine. This is a complete process where a technological device is restored to its original condition and meets manufacturing requirements and customer expectations the same way a new device does.
When remanufacturing, a combination of parts may be used, including reused, repaired, or brand-new elements. During this process, the engineer will use the same specifications as when originally manufactured — and the warranties on these devices will match those of a brand-new product.
On the other hand, the process of refurbishment can range from a thorough check of the product for defects to a full cleanup and rebuild of the product. Products are then tested for functionality and defects before being resold. Ultimately, refurbished devices are restored much less expensively than those which are remanufactured. Additionally, the warranties on refurbished devices are subject to the seller’s definitions — and can range anywhere from being equal to that of a new product to being non-existent.