What is a Refurbishment Process?
Refurbished devices are gaining acceptance as a lot of awareness is being created about electronic landfills and e-waste management. There is a growing number of consumers, businesses and schools and government organizations who are exploring the idea to buy refurbished products. There are several questions people have in mind before purchasing a refurbished product. Most relating to the quality and the standard of the units.
What exactly happens in the refurbishment process? The term 'refurbished' literally means to restore, renovate, or repair, which explains that, computers are restored to good working condition for people to buy and use. The unit is refurbished either by manufacturers themselves or by licensed Refurbisher. Let us understand the different steps involved in the refurbishment process.
- Sourcing the units
A laptop or desktop and its parts that come together for refurbishment from different companies or dealers. They come from different sourcing channels such as asset recovery companies, retailers, companies/individuals who want to upgrade and recycling plants
- Complete Sanitization
Once the unit and its parts enter the refurbishment process, it first goes through a cleansing process. This involves the removal of dust, stickers, cleaning of the panels, etc.... The unit undergoes a deep sanitization machine that blows high-pressure air to remove dust accumulated inside of the unit.
Since all the products are sourced and undergo a deep sanitization, not all products undergo the refurbishing process. In this step, the units undergo a filtration. It is the process of sorting and grading based on physical damage and the degree of functionality. Some may be in good working condition, while others need repairs and/or parts replacement. A small percentage may be in dead condition and could be sent to recycling facilities.
The units are examined for any major cosmetic and/or internal damage. Followed by a complete diagnosis performed on all critical components like hard-drive, battery, screen, power supply, motherboard, fan, optical drive and more to understand their functionality.
- Data wipe
This is one of the critical components of this process. Refurbishers make it mandatory to wipe out any existing data on the hard disks. Simple formatting is not enough to remove the data, Refurbisher has to use high-level data erasing software to accomplish this task. They should ensure that no unit is re-sold without the data wiping, as that could damage the reputation of the company.
- Building the refurbished unit
In this step, the unit undergoes a complete revamp. The parts that don’t work are replaced. Hardware issues like loose connections, troubleshooting, are restored and fixed, while defective components are replaced and such parts may include RAM, graphic cards and even hard disks in some cases. Once through with repairs and replacements, the unit is reassembled and switched to factory default settings.
- Complete testing and quality control
Complete quality check and testing of the refurbished PC is the next important step. Each unit undergoes end – to – end checking from rattling sounds indicating loosely held components. CPU, RAM, and HDD are tested thoroughly to deliver optimum computing power. All the tests are logged, printed and attached to the respective devices. If any flags are raised during testing, the product is sent back to the refurbish tech unit.
- Cosmetic repairs
Once the unit passes all the quality and test steps, the device undergoes cosmetic repair. The units going out of the refurbishing facility must look as good as new. Refurbished computers from sourcing usually come with scratches, blemishes, dents, etc. All scratches and cosmetic blemishes are removed as far as possible and dents in metallic parts are restored to original-like condition. Cosmetic paintwork and polishing are also carried out to make them look as good as new.
- Software installation & licensing
Microsoft provides licensed Microsoft key to companies who have Authorized Microsoft Certified Refurbisher license. Microsoft Windows 10 Home/ Pro is installed within the units. Some Refurbisher may offer Microsoft office too.
- Packaging & shipping
Finally, the device packed under the brand of the Refurbisher for re-sale. This is a second life for the unit which otherwise be discarded as e-waste or be a part of landfills. This process of refurbishment enables and empowers our world to thrive in a green, eco-friendly and cost-effective way.
So next time when you think about buying a computer. Buy a refurbished one!