Achieving sustainability is a great challenge for most of the Indonesian manufacturing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Remanufacturing has been considered to be a key strategy to attain sustainable manufacturing by maximising the use of old components and minimising landfill size and energy usage. However, SMEs, which are undoubtedly the engine of the Indonesian manufacturing industry, do not have adequate experience, skill, resource, technology and financial support in the remanufacturing area. This paper proposes a new concept for sustainable manufacturing assessment framework through remanufacturing strategies in Indonesian SMEs. In this sustainable manufacturing assessment framework, the existing remanufactured products are assessed using sustainable manufacturing criterion (e.g. reliability, life cycle cost, employment opportunity and greenhouse gases). This framework identifies improvement opportunities, including eco-efficiency, cleaner production and green technology to make existing remanufactured products technically, economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. The sustainability of remanufactured alternators produced by Indonesian SMEs has been assessed to validate the aforementioned sustainable manufacturing assessment framework.