Welcome to the first issue of the Journal of Remanufacturing. This journal will bring together global knowledge in remanufacturing practice and research, from industry and academia as grounding for new technologies to enable the use of remanufacturing in addressing economic, competitive, environmental and legislative pressures.
In the past we manufactured products and disposed of our waste as we wished. Those days are long gone. We are now in a 2nd Industrial revolution requiring combined and equal consideration of economic and environmental needs. Increasingly stringent legislation, including rising waste penalties and landfill tax have catapulted environmental issues into the cost equation; such that a fourth dimension -environmental performance- has now joined the traditional order winning criteria of lead-time, price and quality. This has created globally critical business opportunities based on reverse logistics. This journal addresses the information needs of these new businesses.
We have worked hard to create an exciting fusion and interaction of industry and academia that can only serve to further remanufacturing. This initiative is a huge opportunity for those of us already steeped in remanufacturing research and practice to share knowledge amongst ourselves and to pass on wisdom and experiences to new industry entrants and upcoming researchers.
Why is this journal so desperately needed?
Until now there was no remanufacturing specific academic journal. However, a recognized repository of remanufacturing knowledge is important for academics and industrialists alike. Remanufacturing researchers publish in a wide range of journals and have to scope the same range in order to retrieve information. This makes it difficult to undertake research because identifying the scope and expanse of existing knowledge is problematic. Disseminating research findings is also demanding due to this lack of an information reservoir for remanufacturing. Industrialists for their part complain that accessing information, particularly regards new developments by academia is challenging. At the same time publishing in non-dedicated journals is becoming an increasingly unviable option. The reason here is that given the volume of remanufacturing research papers produced each year, for a non-dedicated journal to publish an acceptable proportion of deserving remanufacturing papers it would have to reject the bulk of equally deserving non-remanufacturing articles, even when such work is central to its core theme.
Other remanufacturing problems that this journal addresses include the lack of effective communication between remanufacturing academics and industrialists, leading to research results not always being usable by the operational manager, and the ambiguity in remanufacturing definition among remanufacturing practitioners and academics and the general public. Moreover, remanufacturing research has tended to be disjointed and undertaken in a piecemeal fashion leading to subsystem optimization.
Measures taken to address these issues in the formulation of this journal
To assist industry useable research all Editorial board members have both industrial and academic recognition. Furthermore, the Journal has an Adjunct Industry Committee consisting of representatives of leading international remanufacturing organisations. The Adjunct Committee liaises with both contributors and the main editorial board, in the former case to make them aware of major research themes required in industry and in the latter to identify the most industry relevant research each year.
The Journal is Open Access (OA), meaning that online access to all published articles is free and unrestricted. The costs of running the Journal are met by publication fees. This model allows the greatest possible access to articles in this new Journal, thus permitting a wider range of people to view the quality of our output and greater opportunity for citations to our authors. I realize that there are concerns regarding this model, but believe that this is the way forward for scholarly publications, a view echoed by many government research funding bodies.
The journal will ensure that its publications are of the highest quality through its policy of requiring three independent reviews of all submitted articles. This robust quality assurance procedure is necessary in order to quickly establish a high rating and impact factor for the journal. To facilitate holistic understanding the journal will seek to promote remanufacturing research within the broad engineering (product and process design) and business (operations, supply chain, marketing, and economics) fields. The international dimension of the journal is emphasized to overcome cultural and national barriers and to meet the needs of global sustainability given the significant adverse ecological impacts of accelerating global development. To further enhance inclusiveness fee waivers for high quality articles are available for researchers without budgets, particularly if from low economy countries. When I was starting out on my journey in remanufacturing as a PhD student the key problem for me was where to go to get information about remanufacturing, where to publish my findings and making my meaning of remanufacturing clearly understood. Had a journal such as this existed my task would have been so much easier.
The Industry Adjunct Committee and the open access (OA) system, are two key novelties and advantages of the Journal of Remanufacturing when compared to other Engineering journals. For example, more and more major funding bodies such as the UK's Engineering, Physical and Science Research Council (EPSRC) now require all research that they fund to show industrial relevance and for the findings to be disseminated via an Open Access System. The Journal of Remanufacturing is one of the very first International Engineering Journals proactively advancing these two needs.
I would like to thank all the key players in the remanufacturing arena such as Professor Steinhilper for their support and advice in establishing this journal. Remanufacturing has until very recently been viewed as an adjunct to conventional manufacturing at best, or worse as its very poor cousin. The creation of this dedicated reservoir for remanufacturing knowledge not only facilitates the harnessing and accessing of remanufacturing knowledge, but will also help to bring remanufacturing out of the shadows. I welcome you aboard this journey and hope that we will continue to support each other and new entrants in this quest to enable remanufacturing to take its rightful place at the fore as a distinct and important scientific discipline. We know of course that this journey will not happen in a day or be easy, but we have taken our first steps by coming together to be seen as a viable and united community.