A major facility for manufacturing research is being established at the National Bureau of Standards. It is designed to provide extreme flexibility and to be capable of emulating a wide variety of manufacturing cells typical of a small machine job shop. The control architecture adopted is hierarchical in nature and highly modular. The facility will be used for research on interface standards and metrology in an automated environment.The Congressional Act* setting up the National Bureau of Standards charges the Bureau with: (a) The custody, maintenance, and development of the national standards of measurement, and the provision of means and methods for making measurements consistent with those standards… (b) Cooperation with other government agencies and with private organizations in the establishment of standard practices, incorporated in codes and specifications.To perform these functions, the Bureau has, over the years, installed numerous experimental facilities, among which are a nuclear research reactor, a linear accelerator, and dead weight force generators with a capacity of 4.4 meganewtons. NBS has recently embarked on the design, procurement, and installation of a new Automated Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF) to support its measurement and standards responsibilities in the decades of the 1980's and 1990's. When complete in 1986, this facility will be capable of full-scale emulation of the flexible machining cells in the automated factory of the future.