ASPIRE | Design of cleaning process chains in remanufacturing

Resource efficiency through recycling of commercial vehicle components

In order to increase resource efficiency along the entire process chain in production technology, a demand-oriented design of cleaning processes is of essential importance. By remanufacturing old parts, such as compressor cylinder heads, EGR flap modules, and brake control unit pressure sensors, costs can be reduced by 50 to 65 percent compared with new production. Regeneration can therefore be considered one of the most sustainable forms of recycling.

At the same time, there are major challenges to be met, since the soiling on products occurs in a very diverse and individual manner and the same quality standards and guarantee requirements apply to the remanufactured products as to new products. In addition, there are hardly any specifications or standards for the required cleanliness values, so that the selection and parameterization of testing and cleaning processes are mainly based on empirical values.

Ready for round two


Making process chains efficient in terms of cost and resources

The ASPIRE research project (Design of cleaning process chains in remanufacturing) aims at establishing quality-oriented cleaning process chains in the field of remanufacturing. An interdisciplinary consortium is doing research on how, for example, motor vehicles and commercial vehicles can be supplied with spare parts at low cost and in a resource-saving manner. The spare parts must still meet the highest defined cleanliness standards and must function flawlessly.

Project contents:

  • Systematic selection and evaluation of cases of application
  • Detecting areas of contamination
  • Development of cleanliness requirements
  • Defining testing and cleaning procedures and setting up the parameters
  • Adding documentation to an expandable data base
  • Defining cleaning process chains
  • Demonstration of the working mechanism

Examples of old components with high potential for remanufacturing
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Examples of old components with high potential for remanufacturing
Contamination map: Exemplary initial states EGR flap and cylinder head
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Contamination map: Exemplary initial states EGR flap and cylinder head
Exemplary cleaning process chain: cylinder head
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Exemplary cleaning process chain: cylinder head
Exemplary cleaning process chain: EGR-valve
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Exemplary cleaning process chain: EGR-valve

Developing a demonstrator platform

In the ASPIRE project, the experience of the entire consortium was incorporated into the needs-based design of cleaning process chains. Example applications are cylinder head compressors, EGR flap modules or pressure sensors of a brake control unit. It is now possible to use other commercial vehicle components for a second life cycle.

The consortium also benefited from the actual analysis as part of the control loop, as it created greater transparency regarding contamination. Limits and cleaning classes are now available.

In order to investigate the intersection between technical cleanliness and remanufacturing, the next steps to achieve the objectives of the research project are now being addressed. At the Fraunhofer IGCV, a demonstrator platform is being set up. It will show specific cause-and-effect relationships for technology applications.

ASPIRE demonstrator platform
© Fraunhofer IGCV
ASPIRE demonstrator platform

Industry and research act in concert


Project ASPIRE

Besides the Fraunhofer IGCV, numerous other partners are involved in the ASPIRE project.


Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV, Augsburg (quality and technical cleanliness),

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, Process Innovation Project Group, Bayreuth (production technology compatible for the environment),

Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH, Munich (commercial vehicle users),

MAN Truck & Bus SE, Nuremberg (commercial vehicle manufacturer),

Nabu-Oberflächentechnik GmbH, Stulln (cleaning chemicals),

Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH, Bad Staffelstein (systems for blasting and vibratory grinding technology) and the

Schuk GmbH, Neu-Ulm (residual dirt analysis, contract cleaning)

Cooperation with Fraunhofer IGCV

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Industry solutions

The key sectors of Fraunhofer IGCV:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and commercial vehicles


We are shaping the way into the future of efficient engineering, networked production and intelligent multi-material solutions.