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impFactory

Electric Imp’s off-the-shelf factory BlinkUp appliance

The impFactory™ is Electric Imp’s recommended BlinkUp™ fixture. This off-the-shelf factory appliance allows your assembly line to instruct production devices to run your factory firmware. It does this by sending the factory WiFi credentials and a factory enrollment token to each device under test’s on-board imp optically via LED.

To use an impFactory, you use the Electric Imp mobile and BlinkUp app to add the fixture to your Electric Imp account, and within impCentral you assign it to a Factory Device Group to which you have deployed your factory firmware. The impFactory is a great option for all imp-enabled products going to manufacturing because it can be purchased directly and includes many useful features:

  • Large, durable front-panel button for triggering factory BlinkUp.
  • BlinkUp emitter status indicator on the front panel.
  • LCD and keypad to provide options for more complex tests and/or operator interaction.
  • Red and green LEDs on the front panel can be used to display test Pass/Fail information or other vital stats.
  • Rear Panel:
    • Mini USB for power.
    • RS232 serial port allows the impFactory to drive other assembly line equipment, such as a label printer.
    • Footswitch port allows an external switch to be used as a BlinkUp trigger.
    • LED port to drive assembly line factory BlinkUp emitter
    • Ethernet port for wired networking — WiFi also supported.
    • USB A port for USB host.
    • Photosensor for BlinkUp.
    • BlinkUp status LED.


 

impFactory Usage

1. Add Your impFactory to Your Account

To begin developing your factory firmware, you’ll need to configure your impFactory as a developer device:

  • Power on the impFactory by plugging it into a USB power supply with the supplied Mini USB cable.
  • Log into your Electric Imp account in the Electric Imp mobile app.
  • Tap ‘Configure a Device’ and select Wireless or Ethernet according to how your impFactory will be connected to the Internet
  • For Wireless, Enter the WiFi credentials for your factory or location.
  • Press ‘Next’ until you reach the BlinkUp screen then press ‘Start BlinkUp’.
  • Cover the Status LED and BlinkUp sensor on the back panel of the impFactory completely with your phone or tablet’s screen, and wait for BlinkUp to complete.
  • In impCentral, select ‘My Development Devices’ from the devices menu ().
  • Find your newly-configured device and copy its Device ID.


Using BlinkUp to configure your impFactory

3. Assign Your impFactory to a Factory Workspace or Device Group

To assign your impFactory to a Factory Workspace for factory firmware testing, click on ‘Assign’ in the ‘Manage’ column. When the ‘Assign Devices’ panel appears, , paste in the Device ID of your fixture. Next, select the Product containing the Factory Workspace, ‘Factory’ as the Workspace type, and the name of the Factory Workspace you’ll be using:


 

To assign your impFactory to a Factory Device Group for factory usage, select your account from the menu in the first entry in the navigation bar and then select ‘Production Zone’ for your chosen Product. Click on the factory icon () to view your Factory Device Groups and, for the chosen group, click on ‘Fixtures’ in the ‘Manage’ column. When the ‘Factory BlinkUp Fixtures’ list appears, click on the ‘Assign’ button. When the ‘Assign Devices’ panel appears, paste in the Device ID of your fixture and then select the name of the Factory Device Group you’ll be using:


 

4. Install the BlinkUp emitter

impFactory appliances include an LED emitter on a cord. This should be plugged into the port on the rear panel of the impFactory marked ‘IR’ (an off-the shelf IR emitter, such as are often used for remote control range extenders, may also be used here).

5. Send Factory BlinkUp on the Assembly Line

Most users will configure their impFactory appliances to perform a factory BlinkUp when the green front-panel button or optional footswitch are pressed. As devices arrive at the factory BlinkUp station on your assembly line, align the BlinkUp emitter with the BlinkUp sensor on your newly manufactured production device, power on the target device, and trigger factory BlinkUp.

Re-using the impFactory for Development Work

If you would like your impFactory to cease operating as a factory unit and resume a role as a development device (this is frequently done for easier factory firmware development), it’s easy to make this change in impCentral. Just re-assign the impFactory to a Factory Workspace as outlined above.
 

Sample Code

The following code provides some basic factory firmware for your impFactory. It will get you started, but we recommend you build on it to add device under test hardware tests. These can be located within the myTestFunction() function. This will currently return true to indicate that tests have passed.

To purchase Electric Imp impFactory appliances, please visit the Electric Imp Store.
 

DIY

For information on building your own factory BlinkUp fixture using Electric Imp’s reference design, please click here.