ABB Increases AI Industrial Energy Management Stake with Ndustrial Investment

May 14, 2024
ABB feels this AI technology will enable smarter, production-aware energy decisions in real-time that will help its customers reduce operating costs, optimize energy consumption, and accelerate decarbonization

The industrial sector isn’t a stranger to adaptation and growth in the name of securing business operations, but one element still proving challenging is energy consumption.

Research shows that the industrial market uses 37% of the total electricity generated globally, and nearly 50% of all that industrial energy is wasted. Combined with the fact that many industrial companies and factories still rely on older legacy equipment, this can make data extraction difficult and time-consuming, leading to delayed or inaccurate business improvement decisions.

Using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), which can collect and analyze complex data across multiple assets in real time, companies can begin developing a more accurate representation of their operations and take advantage of untapped energy savings.

To provide these technologies to its customers, ABB announced it has made an investment in Ndustrial, a U.S.-based clean technology startup known for its AI-powered energy management platform. ABB feels this AI technology will enable smarter, production-aware energy decisions in real-time that will help its customers reduce operating costs, optimize energy consumption, and accelerate decarbonization.

“Championing sustainability and guiding customers to achieve net zero carbon is at the core of what we do,” said Stuart Thompson, President of ABB Electrification Services. “This partnership with Ndustrial means we can accelerate decarbonization for our customers by leveraging AI-powered predictions to make decisions in real-time so they can optimize production, save energy, and reduce costs and emissions.”

The Ndustrial platform works by measuring and reducing a company’s energy intensity – the energy required for a pre-defined unit of output or activity. The platform integrates multiple – and even disparate – data sources, such as weather, market rates, equipment performance, and industrial process outputs, to analyze and predict a company’s energy usage and costs per unit of production.

“Once you see the production patterns of a facility, you can talk to the energy suppliers with much more confidence in budgets and use that to negotiate better rates. It helps that arbitrage,” said Jason Massey, Co-Founder and CEO of Ndustrial.

This enables real-time decisions, as well as actionable insights and automated control specific to the production line, facility, or even industry being optimized – such as food and pharmaceutical manufacturing, energy distribution, and cement and metal fabrication.

“It’s so much more than delivering KPI data or measuring performance. We don’t just help a company track and report their yield; we give them tools to determine how to get an even better yield with lower raw material costs. We help change the parameters and thinking based on insights we’ve learned," said Jason Massey, CEO of Ndustrial.

This isn't the first investment ABB has made in a company that would provide additional benefits for its customers: In April 2024, ABB gained a minority stake in GridBeyond, a start-up that provides energy management solutions based on AI and data science. These solutions allow customers to optimize distributed energy resources (DERs) and industrial loads.

Over the past decade, before ABB’s investment, Ndustrial has helped companies avoid over $100 million in energy costs. For example, Lineage, a global cold storage provider, saw a 30% reduction in both its energy costs and energy intensity over a seven-year period – the equivalent of powering 250,000 homes annually.

“Our team of industrial engineers and software developers have created a new kind of energy management system for industrial operations, and with ABB’s expertise and global reach, we’ll be able to make a real impact in accelerating the global energy transition,” said John Crawford, Ndustrial Co-Founder and CTO.