The first Campbell Scientific instrument, a space averaging anemometer, was built by Eric and Evan Campbell in 1974. This was followed in 1975 by the CR5 Digital Recorder, a portable, battery-powered datalogger of modular design using CMOS logic technology. To our knowledge, the CR5 was the first battery-operated system that could do time-averaged measurements from thermocouples, solar radiation sensors, and wind sensors requiring vector averaging.
Campbell Scientific Ltd. was founded in 1985 by Gaylon Campbell and the late Eric Campbell (both Directors of Campbell Scientific, Inc. of Utah, USA) and Dick Saffell, the present Managing Director.
Campbell Scientific, Inc. was established in 1974 and had gained an enviable reputation for the design and manufacture of data acquisition and meteorological equipment. Most of their sales had been in mainland USA, and although they had exported to Europe, they could see the advantages of establishing a European base in the UK. A new company was formed which expanded rapidly as demand grew for the products.
Initially the company assembled a datalogger designed at the US parent company, and gradually began to integrate those into systems and weather stations using European sensors. With the introduction of a new datalogger in 1987, sales increased rapidly and the company grew to achieve a turnover of over a million pounds in less than four years. During this time the company leased premises from the University of Nottingham. In 1990, we moved to a building in the centre of Shepshed and in 1996 we moved again to a purpose-built office and assembly plant on the outskirts of the town. We have over 1400m2 of space available for office accommodation, manufacturing and storage with sufficient land to treble in size.
Shepshed is in the centre of the UK, close to East Midlands International Airport and several major roads, allowing easy access for the transport of equipment into Europe. Skilled labour was provided by the local universities and colleges of Loughborough, Leicester and Nottingham, these all being within 30km.
By the end of 1991 we employed around 30 people including five Applications Engineers and three Technicians. We assembled two dataloggers (which were selling in significant quantities) and some peripherals. Another larger datalogger and a number of other peripherals were still imported from the USA.
Our range of datalogging equipment was designed to meet the stringent requirements of scientists and engineers involved in agricultural and meteorological research. Consequently, we manufacture all our products to the highest standards and they are able to endure extremes of climatic and industrial conditions for long periods.
The extensive product range now addresses a broader spectrum of markets, from agricultural and hydrological research to automotive testing and environmental monitoring. Our products have evolved continually, with significant R & D effort going into both hardware and software. The combined sales of the UK and USA companies is now over 160,000 dataloggers.