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Adcole Corporation..
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1957
Founder Addison D. Cole
Headquarters Marlborough, Massachusetts, United States
Number of locations
Area served
Products Optical-mechanical measuring technology
Increase US$30 million (2011)
Website Official Website

Adcole Corporation is a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of precision testing and measuring instruments. Addison D. Cole founded the company in 1957.[1] Adcole’s core clients come from the aerospace and automotive industries. The company is a subcontractor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and satellite manufacturers.[2] Sun angle sensors designed by Adcole have flown on numerous space exploration missions, including Mars Pathfinder and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.[3] Automobile and truck engine makers as well as agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers utilize measuring machines and tools from Adcole as well.[4] The company is privately held and reported net sales of more than $30 million in fiscal year 2011.[5]


During World War II, Cole trained the Royal Air Force on the use of radar. He was also program manager of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s airborne radar unit. Following the war, he helped launch the Laboratory for Electronics, a company that went public in 1957.[4]

An engineer by trade, Cole saw the opportunities represented by the Space Race. He invented a sun angle sensor that helped rockets and satellites maintain their orientation in space. Cole’s invention, which space agencies use even today, provided the impetus behind the launch of Adcole in 1957.[6]


A custom-designed facility for manufacturing, assembly and testing of gauges and other equipment was constructed in Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1983. Within five years, the company expanded the building to make room for 200 employees.[4] A second plant in Pompano Beach, Florida produces high-precision spindles and other components used in Adcole gauges.[2]

In recent years, Adcole has seen impressive sales growth in China and the Far East. The burgeoning auto and consumer markets in developing nations such as Thailand, Vietnam and India has buoyed the company’s already strong position in the market. In 2011, Adcole’s net income topped the $30 million mark, and the company had approximately 195120 employees on the payroll. The company has wholly owned offices in Recklinghausen, Germany (1977), Tokyo, Japan (1986), and Shanghai, China (2004).[5]


Now in his 90s, Addison Cole has held the position of company CEO since its founding in 1957. He’s also the president and chairman of the board. Philip L. Rhodes is Vice President and the chief financial officer, J. Brooks Reece is Vice President of the Gaging Division, Thomas MacDonald is Vice President of Aerospace, and Stephen Corrado is Vice President of Engineering. They have all been with the company for more than 25 years.[5]



The majority of engine manufacturers, large and small, employ Adcole measuring devices machines at some stage of the production process. Sophisticated gauges ensure that camshafts and crankshafts are within allowable tolerances for size and shape. The level of precision required in engine manufacturing is rigorous; Adcole gauges are reportedly accurate to within 10 12 millionths of an inch (0.25 micron). Precisely engineered engine parts ensure quiet and reliable operation.[7]

Adcole has several models of camshaft and crankshaft gauges currently on the market. The Model 1300 crankshaft gauge, released in 2007, is designed to provide fast and accurate readings within a production environment. Model 1300 has an automatic loading feature and can measure parts for roundness, size, timing angle and stroke. The unit can process 60 parts per hour.[8]

The Model 1310 is also designed with the factory floor in mind: The unit is capable of 200 measurements per hour. The Model 1310 takes essential measurements of camshafts, integral components of internal combustion engines.[7]

Adcole provides camshaft and crankshaft inspection gages for hundreds companies within the automotive supply chain, including:[4]

Looking forward, the driving force in the automobile market will be fuel efficiency and cleaner methods of production. Adcole has anticipated this need by striving for ever-greater accuracy and performance in its measurement products. Simultaneously, the growth of auto industries in developing nations, of which China and India are the premier examples, will drive demand for critical parts and equipment throughout the supply chain.[4]

Government contracts[edit]

Adcole technology has been an integral part of manned and unmanned spaceflight since the company’s inception. The company’s sun angle sensors are used on satellites to control the orientation of the vehicle. For most communication and reconnaissance satellites, a proper orientation is essential for nominal functioning.[9] According to Vice President Tom MacDonald, every orbiting GPS satellite is equipped with a sun angle sensor from Adcole.[6]

In 2012, Adcole sun sensor assemblies were used during NASA's spacecraft cruise stage to deliver the Curiosity rover to Mars.[10]


  1. ^ "Adcole Corporation Founder Featured In Automotive Industries Magazine". prLeap. September 17, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "About Us". Adcole Corporation. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Spear, Anthony J.; et al. (1995). "Low Cost Approach to Mars Pathfinder". Acta Astronautica. 37: 131–139. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Case, Lenny (July 2010). "Greener Technologies, Tighter Tolerances" (PDF). Automotive Industries. 189 (2): 72–74. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-15. 
  5. ^ a b c "OneSource CorpTech Company Profiles: Adcole Corp - Snapshot". LexisNexis. January 13, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Brown, Matthew L. (September 13, 2010). "Keeping Things In Line In Marlborough: Adcole Corp. dominant on Earth, in space". Worcester Business Journal. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Measuring Machines". Adcole Corporation. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Crankshaft Measurement Gauge provides submicron accuracy". ThomasNet News. November 12, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Aerospace Products". Adcole Corporation. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ Anselmo, Joseph C. (13 August 2012). "Many Engines of Innovation". Aviation Week & Space Technology. 174 (29): 14.