Skip to main content

Connected Factory Quick Start

The Fast Path To Connected Device Production

Bringing a connected device to production with a Connected Factory involves four key tasks:

  1. Develop, test and promote your product’s application firmware to run on Production Devices.
  2. Develop, test and promote your product’s fixture firmware to run on BlinkUp™ fixtures.
  3. Develop, test and promote your product’s DUT firmware to run on Devices Under Test.
  4. Implement your Connected Factory Process.

The first three stages are closely bound: to fully test your Connected Factory Process, you require promoted application firmware. impCentral™, Electric Imp’s online development and production management tool, includes a full test environment, the Test Zone, which replicates the Connected Factory Process. This allows you to fully verify your fixture firmware and DUT firmware with real hardware before manufacturing commences. In addition, the test process yields Test Production Devices which can be used to validate device activation with the BlinkUp SDK-based activation app that you will be providing to your end-users.

Once testing has been completed to your satisfaction, you are ready to go into production (this assumes you have a suitable production partner in place, or your own manufacturing site). Setting up a Connected Factory is straightforward. Within impCentral’s Production Zone, you create and configure three device groups: a Production Device Group to gather blessed Production Devices and provide them with application firmware; a DUT Device Group to which DUTs will be assigned after BlinkUp and so receive their assigned DUT firmware; and a Fixture Device Group to collect assembly line BlinkUp fixtures which are used to prepare DUTs for access to the Electric Imp impCloud™. Only promoted firmware of the correct type can be deployed to these device groups. impCentral has tools to help you perform these tasks quickly and easily.

Both of these guides assume you have some experience of developing Electric Imp application firmware using impCentral, and that you have read our introductory guide What Is A Connected Factory?, which covers the process at a high level and introduces its terminology. If you have not read this short guide, we strongly recommend that you do so now. In addition, Connected Factory Process in a Nutshell lists the process logic in six brief steps.

For advanced users, or those with in-depth experience of the impCentral factory testing and production process, the Connected Factory Guide provides a complete reference to the production process.