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Made on Cape Cod: Onset Computer Corporation

Started by a husband and wife team more than 30 years ago, Onset Computer Corporation became me one of the fastest growing high-tech companies on Cape Cod.

For anyone looking for a great example of a successful high-tech business on Cape Cod, they should look no further than on MacArthur Boulevard in Bourne.

Onset Computer Corporation has been producing technology here on Cape Cod for more than 30 years, and has since become one of the world’s leading supplier of data loggers, weather station products, wireless sensors, and web-based monitoring systems.

Not only does it design and engineer products at an Upper Cape facility, but it is also where it sells, markets and manufactures all of its systems - employing 125 people.

Onset’s first data logger was built by Lon and Ellen Hocker in a barn behind their North Falmouth home in 1981. The business grew by word of mouth in the local scientific community, and the company quickly expanded.

According Director of Marketing, Evan Lubofsky, the company’s first commercially successful product was a portable data logger called the ‘Tattletale.’ “Tattletales were used in a broad range of applications including monitoring ocean parameters on buoys and tracking performance of Indy Cars.”

Tattletales evolved into the now prolific HOBO data loggers, which are used to measure building energy performance, and in a wide variety of agricultural and coastal research. They record energy and environmental measurements over time, such as temperature, humidity, light intensity, water level, soil moisture, rainfall, and wind speed and direction. 

Data loggers are described by Onset as “compact, battery-powered devices equipped with an internal microprocessor, data storage, and one or more sensors.” They are connected to the computer, programmed by accompanying software, and then placed in the testing location--inside and outside, underground or underwater--where it records the desired measurement. Once the data is collected, the data logger is then reconnected to the computer and the software reads the data and displays the measurements in graphs and charts.

Onset’s technology has been used as far as China and South Africa, by federal government agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and private businesses looking to track and analyze the efficiency of their operations.

Often times for the data loggers are used to achieve an goal related to sustainability. “Onset was “green” long before green became fashionable,” Lubofsky said. “In general, we feel the work we’re doing is very important to society, and employees definitely tend to feel a strong sense of purpose in their work.”

And to Onset their employees are paramount. One of the company’s main goals is to continue to create and maintain jobs here on the Cape. They also want “keep developing tools that help achieve the sustainable use of energy and preservation of natural resources.” And they want to be “the global leader in innovative data logging and monitoring solutions.”

They are well on their way, having sold more than 2 million data loggers to customers all over the world from their center of operations on Cape Cod.

For more information about Onset Computer Corporation and their products, visit www.onsetcomp.com

Lenore Bavota March 11, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I'm sure Onset is looking forward to Open Cape and the new fiber optic line. Like Onset, the Open Cape line will go right past our studio in Cataumet. Just think of the work we can do with our new green screen studio and fiber optics. All kinds of fun will be happening. I hear Onset is a wonderful company to work for. Congrats on your firm's success.

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