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Intelligent Flexible Manufacturing Cell



Ethan Hollingsworth, Eric Holterman, Allison Barnard Feeney


Designed around Industry 4.0 based digital technology, flexible manufacturing cells are envisioned to comprise a variety of machines capable of peer-to-peer communication, learning, and adaptation with the end goal of creating a standards-based, brand-agnostic, autonomously managed work cell free of any human influence. In this project, CCAM developed a physical and digital flexible manufacturing cell built primarily on open standards and open-source technologies to address the opportunities and challenges of development of a strong communication framework, as well as the semantics and context to drive individual decision making down to the machine or controller and enable brand-agnostic interoperability. This reference implementation of a full digital and flexible manufacturing cell can be used for the further development of standards and technologies surrounding the digital thread and distributed manufacturing.
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - 23-046
Report Number


Automation, discrete manufacturing, flexible manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Kafka, manufacturing, MTConnect, networks, open standards, QIF, robotics, smart manufacturing, standards, STEP


Hollingsworth, E. , Holterman, E. and Barnard Feeney, A. (2023), Intelligent Flexible Manufacturing Cell, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed March 1, 2024)
Created December 11, 2023, Updated December 12, 2023