A major facility for manufacturing reseafch exists at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). The Automated Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF) serves as a test bed and demonstration facility in support of research by workers from NBS, industry, academia, and other government agencies. The AMRF has been designed as a “data driven” control system. This permits it to handle a broad range of parts for automated manufacturing, but requires an effective interface between the data generated in a manufacturing system and the control modules that use the data. To meet this requirement, a distributed data system, the Integrated Manufacturing Data Administration System (IMDAS), has been developed. It is designed to provide the control systems of the AMRF access to the data necessary to support the design, planning, manufacturing, and inspection of parts.