Founder, Chairman and CEO
Spencer Cramer founded ei3 in 1999 to pursue his passion for building highly reliable, secure, and efficient internet technologies for manufacturing. Under his direction, ei3 has become an award-winning global leader in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), connecting more than 100,000 machines and devices globally.
The Visionary Leader
Spencer Cramer is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ei3, a provider of IIoT and AI-based solutions aimed at creating more sustainable and efficient industrial manufacturing. His ideas and endeavors towards digitizing industrial machines are the foundation upon which ei3 was established in 1999.
Cramer’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond his role at ei3; he joined the board of directors at Paceworx in 2009, advising the Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS) team in developing the Sustainable Real Estate Manager® platform. Notably, Paceworx is linked to the development of PACE, recognized as one of the top 20 greatest inventions in the world by Scientific American in 2009.
In addition, Cramer has served on the board of directors at the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) since 2016, and in October 2022 was appointed as the Chairman of the Board. With a deep understanding of the industry, Spencer brings strategic insights and an adept ability to navigate complex challenges, driving industry-wide cooperation and promoting best practices. At OMAC, Spencer has contributed to a wider adoption of “PackML” for Industrial IoT applications, an automation standard that was released by the OMAC in early 2000 and adopted by the International Society of Automation.
Beyond his professional achievements, he’s also a United States Coast Guard (USCG) licensed Captain and 25T Master who enjoys sailing with friends and family.
The Journey Begins
Cramer graduated with a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1983, where he took courses on electrical motors and control theory, and completed a practical course in which he developed real-time digital microprocessor controls.
From 1982 to 1984, Cramer worked at Shackleton Systems Drive (SSD), a division of Eurotherm based in England, where he played a pivotal role as the first employee of SSD’s USA branch, specializing in the development of machine control systems. During his three-year tenure at SSD, the company experienced remarkable growth, expanding its workforce from an office of 2 people to a team of over 30. Cramer not only had the opportunity to pursue his passion for developing machine control systems but also witnessed and learned the intricacies of establishing a company.
In 1984, Cramer was recruited by WorldWide Converting Machines, based in Allendale, New Jersey, to spearhead the establishment of a department for updating the company’s machines with digital computer controls. In just two years, Cramer’s contributions led to his promotion as the Vice President of Systems Engineering, taking upon a sales role that involved international travel to sell large industrial projects across Asia, successfully securing contracts with prominent companies such as Kodak, International Paper, and Avery Dennison.
Circonix Inc: First emergence of the “Industrial Internet of Things”
While gaining valuable industry experience, Cramer became inspired by an innovative idea that prompted him to embark on his own entrepreneurial journey. This visionary idea aimed to revolutionize the control of large-scale industrial machines by implementing computer systems to automate processes, enhancing quality, recipe management, and overall performance.
Cramer founded Circonix, an industrial systems integration company, based in Mahwah, New Jersey in 1990. Circonix specialized in providing digital controls and motor coordination services to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) serving web-transport businesses. With key collaborations with leading companies like Siemens, Circonix swiftly expanded its services to encompass various industries, including plastics, extrusions, transportation, and others. During this time the industry was experiencing a shift from discrete control to digital control in production, presenting a tremendous opportunity that positioned Circonix at the right place and the right time to flourish. Over the course of 8 years, Circonix grew to a team of over 150 employees, until it merged with Wifag-Polytype of Fribourg, Switzerland in 1998.
ei3: Excellence in Industrial Internet Intelligence
Connecting machines to computers was only the beginning of the journey. Cramer envisioned a more advanced level of integration and technology. He aimed to revolutionize industrial machine controls, utilization, and analysis by pioneering the concept of connecting machines directly to the internet— a radical idea for its time. This led to the establishment of ei3 Corporation in 1999 in Montvale, NJ. The invention was ultimately filed as a patent for the “System and method for providing virtual online engineering of a production environment” in 2001 and is considered the birth of the “Industrial Internet of Things.”
ei3 grew as a company dedicated to creating advanced technology that improves the efficiency and sustainability of industrial machines. Its AI-based solutions offer a diverse range of devices and applications, providing crucial data and valuable insights to operators. With smart applications and products that generate alerts, predict breakdowns, monitor downtime, and optimize setting recipes, ei3 empowers clients to maximize productivity and resource efficiency. Most notably, ei3’s cutting-edge energy management tool, “LighStay,” has made a profound impact, saving clients such as Hilton Worldwide over $1 Billion Dollars in energy and resources.
Under Cramer’s leadership, ei3 has achieved a large global presence over the last 23 years, securing over 15,000 clients and connecting more than 100,000 machines and devices across the world. The company has expanded with offices in various locations, including New York, Montreal, Zurich, Bangalore, and Tokyo, and established data centers in Shanghai, Frankfurt, and Secausaus.
Cramer’s visionary leadership and transformative contributions have driven positive change and inspired innovation in the IIoT landscape.
Presentations & Podcasts
Cramer has given presentations in trade shows, conferences, and other events around the world.
- In “Using AI for Smart and Sustainable Operations” at the PACK EXPO in Las Vegas, 2021, he presented a new class of tools to capture knowledge and know-how of skilled and experienced workers, and make it available elsewhere in the organization for efficient operations.
- In “UnPACKED with PMMI’s” episode “Overcoming Hesitations Around Remote Access,” Cramer discusses the advantages of remote monitoring, specifically during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including an explanation of ei3’s remote access services.
- In “The Role of PackML for IIoT,” at the PACK EXPO East in 2020 and “Leveraging Standards to Improve Productivity,” at the PACK EXPO in 2016, in Philadelphia, he highlighted the benefits of PackML for IIoT applications.
- In the “Educational Opportunities Abound” at the IFPE Conference in Las Vegas, 2017, he discusses how Big Data can be used to produce insights for machine floor workers.
- In “Add Value with Predictive Maintenance,” at the LabelExpo Europe in Brussels, 2017, highlights the step by step processes of gathering data to create predictive solutions for machines, elaborating on his paper, the “Path to Predictive.”
- Cybersecurity Features — ei3, 2020
- A Practical Way to Get Started in Manufacturing IIoT: Cultivate a “Green Patch” — Industrial Internet Consortium, 2018
- Path to Predictive — ei3, 2017
- 4 Values of IOT — ei3, 2016