The Environment+Energy Leader Honoree program is an annual list that recognizes the environment and energy “doers” who break the trail in creating new solutions, programs, platforms, best practices and products to help their companies – or other companies – achieve greater success in commercial and industrial environment and energy management. Meet the Honorees… is an ongoing series that will feature one E+E Honoree from 2022 each week. See the complete list of 2022 Honorees here.
Meet John Crawford, Co-Founder and CTO of Ndustrial, a software development company that is delivering the first Energy Intensity platform – enabling companies to minimize energy spending and achieve the highest production efficiency possible. As CTO, John Crawford leads technology development at Ndustrial. This includes a huge range of technologies. He is an expert software developer, and he is also deeply versed in industrial energy management techniques and equipment integrations. At any given time, he may be leading product management discussions, coding, developing new optimization algorithms, talking to customers’ engineering executives, or talking to people on the ground in a cold storage facility.
What are some of the biggest challenges your company/organization will be tackling in 2023 and beyond?
Ndustrial will be expanding its capacity to help companies track and report their carbon emissions in an automated way. This will help a range of companies with their ESG reporting and related initiatives. Today, many companies still compile manual spreadsheets to calculate their carbon footprint. Soon, all major federal contractors will be required to report their emissions – and their suppliers’ and customers’ emissions, in many cases. The same will be true for all publicly traded companies if the SEC’s proposed rules are finalized. Ndustrial is poised to help customers hugely simplify their reporting by installing real-time systems that provide primary-source data to anyone who needs it.
Ndustrial is also launching a 4CP offering for customers in Texas who are looking to dodge the high penalties they’re charged for using energy during the hottest summer afternoons. (See here for more info on 4CP. Unlike other providers, Ndustrial can fine-tune their 4CP recommendations for each customer’s risk tolerance and for their production needs at any given time. Then, they can automate the response so that customers can automatically avoid high-priced periods, in a way that makes sense given their production goals, all with a simple text message approval.
Relatedly, Ndustrial will be expanding on other efforts to suggest money-saving actions for their customers and automate the response. For instance, I will be working with cold storage facilities to optimize the blast freezing process, increasing throughput while decreasing energy costs. I will also be helping to optimize forklift routes inside facilities, using sub-second data, to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. Finally, our team will be working with facilities to install electric hookups that can replace the diesel-powered idling of refrigerated trucks. This will be a massive energy saver as well as a new revenue source for industrial facilities.
In your experience, how can a company develop their ESG Strategy to optimize organization resilience?
ESG reporting today is a laborious and imperfect exercise. By working with Ndustrial, companies can massively simplify their carbon reporting while making their data more trustworthy and accessible. Wise leaders will get the right infrastructure set up BEFORE customers and auditors come knocking so they can respond quickly to requests for information.
What was a successful project or implementation you worked on at your company that you can share? Do you have any tips that would help colleagues at other companies who are contemplating similar projects?
Ndustrial won an award this year for outstanding contribution to energy efficiency from the Alliance to Save Energy for a project to automate Demand Response participation at a facility in Allentown, PA. This was the result of not only Ndustrial’s work but also an integration with the refrigeration control systems from M&M Carnot and Logix Controls. Charles Tuck and I worked to first establish this partnership, then to integrate it with the control systems on the ground in a way that operators were comfortable with. The end result was a major increase in load available for Demand Response (over 700 kW in under 6 minutes) as well as a massively simplified experience for facility managers. This type of success doesn’t come about easily. There are no shortcuts. It requires getting your hands dirty and working with people across both organizational and functional boundaries. But it is the real work of industrial decarbonization. Our advice: dive in. Do the hard things, because that’s where there is value.
What trends do you expect to see in the market in the next few years? What challenges will the industry face and what technologies or organizational changes will overcome them?
The industrial sector will be facing sweeping mandates for carbon reporting, in addition to general supply chain challenges and labor shortages. Automation is one key way to deal with all of these, but it can’t be done indiscriminately. Automation has to be done in a way that makes sense for companies and that puts production first, something we strive for at Ndustrial.
Tell us about a favorite hobby, passion, or book you’ve read recently that has had an impact on you and your work.
I recently became a father and I’m in the process of learning how to balance even more responsibility at home with my work at Ndustrial. Being a father is the greatest achievement of my life, thus far.
Connect with John and the rest of the team at Ndustrial
New for 2023
Guest Author Program
The E+E Leader Guest Author Program is an opportunity for Industry Experts & C-Suite Executives to share their views, opinions, experience, and best practices with an audience of countless C&I professionals. Content should be vendor neutral and align with the editorial focus of the quarter. Email Jessica Hunt to secure a publication date and topic approval.