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The AMRF Material Handling System Architecture



Charles R. McLean, Carl Wenger


A small batch manufacturing system testbed, the Automated Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF), currently under construction at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is designed to support research in factory automation standards. This paper describes the architecture of the AMRF Material Handling Workstation and interface techniques that are used to integrate the system with other factory components. The material handling system (MHS) is comprised of two automatically guided vehicles, tray roller tables, a storage and retrieval system, control computers, and a tender terminal to coordinate manual support services. These services include: kitting, tray loading, tool setup and raw material preparation. The architectural aspects of the system that are presented include: the hardware components of the system, a description of major software modules, material handling work element definitions, the programming of handling operations via process plans, the execution of these plans by the workstation controller, database structures and communications interfaces.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Control Engineering Conference
Conference Location


Automated Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF), material handling system (MHS), software modules, factory components, automation standards


McLean, C. and Wenger, C. (1986), The AMRF Material Handling System Architecture, Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Control Engineering Conference, , USA (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created January 31, 1986, Updated October 12, 2021