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In Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) automated production lines are composed of autonomous manufacturing cells connected by tool and part transportation systems. In an ongoing project with a large manufacturer of equipment for numerical and robotic control (NC and RC) it is investigated, how databases can be applied in computer hierarchies for FMSs. To bring databases and FMSs together a conceptual framework is needed at the beginning. In the first part of the paper a FMS is described in some detail. Then an abstraction hierarchy for relevant objects is developed. Finally a conceptual framework for data distribution in a computer hierarchy is specified.