August 9, 2022



Simple Power Methods: On the Forefront of Reworking the Power Business

12 min read

The controversy on local weather change has continued for over a century now. The invention was first finished by scientists within the 19th century when ice ages and different pure adjustments had been suspected within the surroundings. The impact of CFCs emitted by human actions began deteriorating the surroundings to a degree the place the UN lastly needed to put a foot down and name for the primary convention on the surroundings in Stockholm in 1972.

Since then, many targets have been set by these yearly environmental conferences held by the UN to reverse the worsening local weather state of affairs. On this effort to avoid wasting mom earth, many people, and organizations, leveraging the powers of science, began developing with methods through which financial progress and sustainability may go hand-in-hand.

One such firm, on the forefront of offering dynamic options to the world’s vitality issues is Simple Power Methods.

Within the following interview, Mark Gaalswyk, the Founder and CEO elaborates on the inception story of the corporate and the way it has been disrupting the vitality {industry} by offering cutting-edge vitality options.

Please temporary our viewers about EES, its USPs, and the way it’s presently positioned as a number one participant within the bioenergy area.

Simple Power Methods, Inc. has developed and patented a factory-built modular expertise that may be quickly deployed worldwide to assist remedy the issue of local weather change for the world. It can accomplish that by enabling the fast commercialization of cutting-edge applied sciences for changing many greenhouse inflicting wastes into bioenergy and different value-added merchandise.

Not like most applied sciences, the self-contained automated modular processes are mixed in another way for various waste feedstocks to create value-added inexperienced vitality and biomaterials from all the varied in any other case waste by-products. This allows the monetary fashions of a lot of the Simple Power waste feedstock programs to supply for an entire system payback inside 5 years or much less – with out authorities subsidies. (Though I’m positive our prospects will take them if supplied)

Shed some gentle on EES’s choices and the way are these making an impression on the {industry} and your purchasers?

Most distribution of biomass, waste meals merchandise, lifeless bushes inflicting forest fires, landfills, waste seaweed, palm fronds, and varied different waste merchandise are extensively distributed throughout a area. As a substitute of putting one massive centralized ‘mega plant’ system in a single location – after which transporting the waste to the mega plant; the smaller scale Simple Power Methods, Inc. distributed modular vegetation will be deployed a lot nearer to the waste.

This can be a clearing in a forest for cleansing up the lifeless bushes inflicting forest fires, moreover massive industrial manufacture creating meals or paper waste, adjoining a municipal landfill, corn stalks close to an ag cooperative, or subsequent to an ocean shore for changing seaweed into precious merchandise.

The most important benefit of this methodology is that you don’t emit extra greenhouse gases and vitality transporting the waste than the value-added of the waste. The utilization of the patented modular applied sciences of Simple Power Methods, Inc. permits for every particular person course of module to be eliminated and upgraded sooner or later to an much more trendy and environment friendly course of – ought to new applied sciences be developed.

This might be much like how all of us eliminated our 300 baud modems from our computer systems and put in 1200 baud or ethernet as the pc {industry} developed. This solves the in any other case massive downside of obsolescence within the rising discipline of bio ‘inexperienced’ applied sciences for the end-user programs will be simply up to date to the newest expertise – like a ‘Lego’ merely eradicating one module and inserting a distinct up to date course of into its place.

This solved the issue of in any other case ‘out of date’ inefficient programs littering the panorama – which has hindered the Bioenergy area.

Mark, please temporary us about your self, your journey within the {industry}, and the way you have got contributed to the corporate’s success.

I’m a ‘farm boy’ from southern MN, with coaching in physics and pc science from St Olaf Faculty. Once I returned to the household farm to assist my brothers crop farm on our household’s 4,500-acre farm and lift hogs – I used to be turning into a bit ‘bored’ within the Winter months. Thus, I began my firm (now generally known as Simple Automation, Inc.) in 1986 to carry out programming and design companies for others.

My early endeavors included performing contract work growing progressive ag applied sciences, together with programs to completely aerate grain, the very first discipline soil mapping and variable price fertilizer programs, and applied sciences to routinely validate programs for testing cables on army missiles and plane.

As a substitute of continuous to only do contract growth work for others after which watching them develop large-scale companies from my innovations – I made a decision to focus my efforts inward on applied sciences that I may construct and promote myself.

As I wanted a feed mill by myself farm, I made a decision to develop and construct my very own. I actually didn’t like all the guide bookkeeping related to such a mill, I made it seize and retailer all wanted info routinely so that each one of my reviews could possibly be generated with the contact of a button.

The early years weren’t simple. I bear in mind many nights of sitting out on the ground of the feed room, weeping as a result of issues weren’t going as deliberate. Unsure what it was, however I stored on going by means of this tiring time. Whereas I now have roughly 20 patents immediately, my early patents had been associated to permitting a feed mill to routinely combine the proper mixture of substances in response to a predefined excellent mode.

This eliminated the ‘guesswork’ from feeding teams of animals. It will accomplish that by exactly weighing and mixing a distinct set of substances right into a feed formulation for every week of an animal’s life. This was finished in order that teams of animals could possibly be fed completely to create a perfect meat-type underneath maximized profitability. This patented ‘Automated Section Feeding  Expertise’ enabled the corporate to develop in a short time, and it acquired the INC 500 award as one of many fastest-growing firms within the USA.

At this time, Simple Automation, Inc has over 3,000 feed mill prospects feeding a majority of the nation’s swine and far of the nation’s chickens and dairy operations. The corporate, in recent times, has branched into doing very large-scale fertilizer vegetation which can be additionally needing excessive accuracy and automated info storage. Simple Automation, Inc., a Welcome, MN-based firm, continues to be 100% owned immediately by my household and my two sons, who run a lot of the day-to-day actions.

I inform individuals the corporate immediately will not be what it’s as a result of I used to be essentially ‘sensible’ – truly, I made 1000’s of errors on my journey. It’s what it’s immediately as a result of regardless of making about each mistake I may probably make in beginning and rising an organization, I attempted my finest to study from these errors. Alongside the way in which, I’ve met some nice enterprise mentors.

My very first board member was the primary engineer ever employed by Medtronic. I bear in mind him telling me in these early years, “Don’t ever let your self develop so rapidly or grow to be so massive that you just would not have time to be out along with your prospects.” Thus, I’ve taken that to coronary heart and spend a lot of my trip with prospects and studying first-hand what issues they’ve and the way I’d assist them remedy them.

I additionally take to coronary heart the clever phrases acknowledged by a enterprise affiliate who had constructed up a really massive profitable firm. I used to be invited to current on the annual assembly for his staff on our expertise. Earlier than I spoke, he acknowledged – Workers, we as an organization don’t promote something. Our job is to take heed to the issues of our prospects and concentrate on serving to them remedy all these we are able to probably assist them with (even when not essentially associated to the merchandise we promote). If we do this, our buyer’s response can be to then purchase from us as a result of we introduced options to their issues.

One other robust worth we’ve tried to push is integrity and empathy for our prospects. When a buyer is down, they don’t wish to name in and get a voice mail – or be informed we are able to’t get at it for every week. They need it solved now. Thus, we’re an organization that offers every part we’ve to ship the very best customer support we probably can – even twelve months per 12 months and 24 hours per day after-hours assist.

These varied values make up what we see to be our ‘firm tradition’. Because the CEO, I imagine my job is to be visionary, assist remedy tough issues, however much more primarily, make sure the values of who we’re as an organization are upheld all through every part we do.

Lastly, within the progress of Simple Automation, Inc. – I additionally was lucky to have some very proficient sons who actually labored beside me as younger boys. They’ve now grown up and brought what I began and have then continued to construct it even additional into what it’s immediately.

Being an skilled chief, share with us your opinion on what impression has the adoption of contemporary applied sciences resembling AI had on the bioenergy area and what extra could possibly be anticipated sooner or later?

I’ve been utilizing a ‘kind’ of synthetic intelligence in most of the varied merchandise I’ve created prior to now. Again then, the time period ‘Synthetic Intelligence’ was not even a phrase used within the enterprise like it’s immediately. As a substitute, my philosophy was to not simply have our programs ‘automate’ a course of but additionally have it constantly seize and retailer each piece of precise working info it may – on a regular basis whereas the expertise was working.

This info would then be used to permit the automation system to routinely ‘tune’ and enhance itself. This might be what immediately known as ‘Machine Studying’. I used to be lucky sufficient to have the ability to patent many of those ideas as they utilized to completely making and mixing animal feed and now fertilizer.

I imagine this similar idea may even show vital in making bio-energy expertise deployment profitable. The reason being that oftentimes new applied sciences work ‘completely’ within the lab, but when they’re deployed into the true world, they find yourself being multi-million-dollar disasters. A typical motive for that is that the deployed didn’t routinely detect ‘variations’ within the incoming waste streams, exterior temperatures, PH, and many others., as they modified.

I’ve made the main focus of my bioenergy firm ‘Simple Power Methods, Inc.’ to collect all the data on feedstock and working variation that we are able to after which routinely additionally ‘tune’ and enhance itself – identical to I did again after I designed the early feed mill automation programs.

Whereas altering and ‘tuning’ its working parameters based mostly on altering circumstances or feedstocks is half the equation – constantly capturing and storing historic working parameters and values from all operations in a database, the potential is then there to return and take a look at all the information and have the system routinely enhance its operation based mostly on the captured historic information.

My imaginative and prescient is for Simple Power Methods, Inc. to deploy 1000’s of its factory-built modular programs at buyer websites worldwide, and have all of them constantly acquire working information, after which make the most of the gathering of this diversified information of various feedstocks and totally different working circumstances worldwide again to a central community database to repeatedly develop and enhance superb system ‘settings’ for varied feedstocks and circumstances for all the prospects as a gaggle.

It’s my perception that that is vital for the system to carry out accurately, and the shortage of this functionality is why many different bioenergy applied sciences fail shortly after deployment within the ‘actual’ world.

Bearing in mind the present pandemic, what preliminary challenges did you face, and the way did you drive your organization to maintain operations whereas guaranteeing the protection of your staff on the similar time?

We instantly informed all staff who may keep and work at home. Though we would have liked to replace our ‘distant’ functionality programs, this labored higher than I had anticipated for {the electrical}, mechanical, software program engineering departments. It additionally labored effectively for our many individuals performing cellphone service.

We then divided our manufacturing space into widespread sections of ‘work cells’ to maintain individuals as far aside as doable. Up to now, we’ve, for essentially the most half, prevented office COVID-19 infections.

What could be your recommendation to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to enterprise into the bioenergy options market?

Be ‘mentally’ prepared for everybody you understand to name you a ‘idiot’. In actual fact, it’s fascinating that within the case of my very most worthwhile and industry-changing innovations and applied sciences, the so-called ‘specialists’ informed me, “Don’t you understand you may’t do this? It can by no means work.”

My downside now’s that since I’ve been round this growth ‘merry go spherical’ so many instances – after I now hear ‘you idiot’ – I truly suppose to myself… Nice, that is going to be very worthwhile and world-changing!

Associated to this, by no means quit. When discouraged, mud your self off and preserve transferring ahead, although it may be extremely ‘lonely’ at instances.

How do you envision scaling EES’s operations and choices in 2021?

I really imagine Simple Power Methods Inc. has the patented modular expertise wanted to treatment the issue of local weather change on this planet. The place wanted, we’ve licensed cutting-edge applied sciences from others. I consider Simple Power Methods Inc. as if it was the corporate ‘Lego’.

My patents are round its use of many various course of modules, all working collectively in unison – very like a band conductor leads a band of many various musicians. Whereas we ourselves have patents on varied innovative ‘Lego Block Colours’, we want the applied sciences and enhancements of others (identical to different devices in a band, to actually make the ‘music’ of fixing local weather change).

For instance, we are able to flip a lifeless tree that will have in any other case burned within the forest – into liquid sugar. Now we have patented applied sciences that may convert stable dry waste byproducts into readily useable liquids- with out the addition of water.

We will convert the inexperienced waste right into a precious soil modification that may enhance crop yields by as much as 40%. We at the moment are testing a expertise to transform seaweed right into a precious feed modification to take away 82% of the greenhouse gases of cows. Now we have lately licensed the best to make use of a nanobubble expertise to have the ability to immediately clear up soiled water and/or improve animal progress.

Now we have licensed one other expertise that may seize 50 tons of carbon per 12 months. One other expertise can convert corn right into a precious product value as much as $10 per bushel of corn. Lastly, we’ve licensed a expertise that may convert biomass right into a coal additive that can permit current coal-fired energy vegetation to maintain working and nonetheless meet the Paris accords.

Whereas the final 5 years have been a tricky political and investor local weather for inexperienced vitality firms resembling us, we at the moment are feeling a renewed invigoration for our merchandise.

In preparation for the huge onslaught of alternatives we’re feeling, I’m within the means of finishing a reverse merger so we are able to grow to be a full publicly traded firm for many who are all in favour of serving to us on our journey can take part financially. With this, we then count on to usher in 400 individuals to ramp up the manufacturing actions of our factory-built modular programs.

Exhibiting True Excellence

Through the years, Simple Power Methods has acquired varied awards, together with:

  • Expertise Chief of the Yr Award for the State Of MN
  • Inc 500 award as one of many 500 fastest-growing firms within the USA
  • Quite a few US Ag Engineering Awards for varied developed applied sciences.
  • One in all 4 ‘High Small Enterprise Leaders within the Nation’ as awarded by the US Congress
  • Requested to testify on our expertise on the White Home
  • Requested to testify on our expertise on the US Congress
  • The software program I designed was what stopped the mad cow illness quite a few years in the past in solely 24 hours.
  • Recipient of the ‘Fireplace Starter Award’ as one of many ‘High 12 Most World-Altering Concepts on the Planet’, as chosen by 4,000 scientists. (Apparently, an organization referred to as “Tesla” acquired the award only one 12 months earlier than we did.)
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