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Ecoplant is using AI to help industrial organizations reduce energy waste

After the pandemic has passed, we have a much bigger issue to solve. Climate change, sustainability, and carbon emissions.

And while individual action is important, just 100 companies are responsible for over 70 percent of carbon emissions. Even if every individual does their bit to help, without helping organizations become more sustainable, we won’t move the needle.

Recently, a number of startups have been tackling this aspect of the climate change equation, including the likes of Plan A, and SymPower.

Ecoplant is playing its part in this movement by helping industrial facilities optimize energy consumption, with a particular focus on air compression systems. And, of course, artificial intelligence is helping to make this possible.

Many people don’t know how integral air compression is to almost all industrial production. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 90 percent of factories use air compression, and it accounts for up to 30 percent of the average factories’ energy consumption.

Worse still, half of the energy for air compression is wasted due to leaks and other inefficiencies. With numbers like these it’s easy to understand how this costs companies hundreds of thousands of dollars, and wastes energy at a scale the world cannot afford.

Ecoplant has created a platform that taps into industrial internet of things (IIoT) devices and then analyzes the vast amount of data produced across the entire facility, using AI to find ways to streamline everything.

“Ecoplant collects machine and sensory data,” Aviran Yaacov, CEO at Ecoplant, told me. “Machine data refers to maintenance, hours of operation, production tonnage, pressure levels, and kilowatt flow. Ecoplant uses its AI, and patent-protected software to aggregate the data and send commands automatically to the air compressors for optimal production.”

Although it sounds like a potentially complex implementation, Ecoplant has found a way to integrate its platform with industrial facilities easily and quickly.

“In fact, the customer does not need to change anything and there is no downtime to the factory,” Yaacov said. “Ecoplant’s system handles everything.”

That will be crucial if the tech world is going to convince traditional industry to get on board. Of course, the energy and cost savings are compelling, but if that comes at a significant time and internal resource cost, it will be hard to get the world’s biggest factories involved.

And the results so far?

Companies such as Nestle, Unilever, Danone/Strauss, and more are using Ecoplant to reach their goals. The company claims it can deliver up to 30 percent in energy savings and reduce unplanned production downtime by 50 percent.

So what’s next for EcoPlant?

“Ecoplant is expanding to more facilities in the U.S. and worldwide,” Yaacov said. “We are currently working on a partnership with one of the largest manufacturers of clean technology in the U.S.”

With startups such as Ecoplant and others tackling the thorny problem of how we get corporations and industrial facilities to reduce emissions and make better use of energy, there is hope that over the next few years, we can make a significant improvement in sustainability and ecologically friendly business practices.