Smart Devices to Power the Smart Home
Terrace architects a manufacturing QC process for Zuli Smartplugs
Terrace designs, develops, and implements back office testing programs for Zuli Smartplugs.
When the Zuli team approached Terrace, their Bluetooth Low Energy Smartplugs were ready for large-scale production. They needed a comprehensive, automated testing and quality control program to be developed by a partner with a deep
understanding of manufacturing systems along with experience designing and coding back office procedures — from iterative subassembly processes to the final product.
Working collaboratively with Zuli, we established that the process had to be streamlined to the hardware, software, and board testing plan and would need to account for the overseas non-English speaking manufacturing team using an
older version of Windows.
To ensure a fully functional quality product, our procedure would need to evaluate the Smartplug’s Bluetooth communications, isolation containment, and chip coding along with testing for safety, firmware upgrades, hardware testing,
radio board testing, packaging, and manufacturing specifically within China.
Terrace developed a solution for Zuli to refine and optimize their QC testing procedures at the point of manufacturing — from the electronic, power, and Bluetooth subassemblies to the final product. Terrace resolved subassembly
anomalies, automated the test harnesses through a series of individual test programs, and serialized the products.
To ramp up production of their Bluetooth Low Energy Smartplugs and deliver a reliable product, Zuli needed a suite of automated testing programs that would easily operate for a non-English speaking off-shore manufacturing team. Zuli
selected Terrace to develop an end-to-end solution: to analyze the assembly process, design a suite of test programs, and deliver the software and set up for their remote teams.
A QC testing framework for evaluating Bluetooth networking and communications and implementing radio board and functional testing across predetermined manufacturing stages.
Microsoft .NET Framework, C#, SQL Server
“We had a strong feeling. Talking to Todd and his team, they knew what had to be done and how to go about it. Without Terrace’s commitment to optimizing and expediting the processes, we would not have been able to ship the product. It is a
testament to the QC process that Zuli has been able to deliver a reliable product.”
Founder and CEO, Zuli
With a Zuli Smartplug you can connect and control your lights and appliances to one app and enable them to “adapt to your presence.” The Smartplug works with Nest Thermostat and Philips Hue lights combining four products into one package.
Zuli Presence™ knows when you’re there and adapts to your personal lighting and temperature preferences including features for dimming, controlling on and off times, energy consumption, and scheduling.
The Terrace Process
Terrace + Zuli
Zuli selected Terrace from 4-5 consulting advisors to develop an end-to-end solution: to design and code the manufacturing process, deliver the software, and help set up and train their teams.
- First analyzing and reviewing Zuli’s manufacturing process, parameters, and requirements, we set out to architect the processes for taking their Smartplug prototype from R&D to large-scale manufacturing.
- The QC testing process was designed to account for the Smartplug’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless technology and radiofrequency parameters (RF testing), testing in isolation and then together the electronic, power, and Bluetooth
subassemblies to function as an orchestrated unit in the final product.To achieve this, we designed a complete manufacturing quality control procedure that tested the manufactured components, the subassemblies, the build integration, and the final product. The programming ensured for testing
of the pre-assembly components and pass/fail subcomponents that would move the process forward with passed components. And finally, we designed and developed the final product serialization, integration, and full-system testing
prior to product packaging.
- We delivered the Proof of Concept design and software within the 3-4 months expected. Proving our reliability, hardworking ethics, and cost efficient strategies, our solution gave Zuli the confidence to deliver their SmartPlug
now in Lowe’s, Best Buy and Amazon within just one year.
“I would definitely recommend Terrace. They are reliable and hardworking — they went above and beyond to help meet our timelines to reach shipping deadlines and suppliers. Like a partnership, they worked towards a solution that was cost
efficient. They were confident in what and when they could deliver, given their experience in the space, and accommodated our budget and timeline.”
Founder and CEO, Zuli