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In the near future, control systems for autonomous, intelligent manufacturing units will be required to be intelligently self-reconfiguring. Therefore, innovative development methodologies for the structured design and testing of complex control systems are mandatory. In the present work a development methodology is introduced, which is based on reference models that are compliant with emerging international standards, and exploit object-oriented concepts. By means of the proposed framework the definition of complex control systems is simplified, and the maintenance and reuse of designed control solutions is enhanced. In particular, the reconfigurability of the developed control systems is significantly improved. Furthermore, an illustrative example is presented, where the structured design of the control of an intelligent manufacturing system is discussed, describing some significant self reconfigurability functions, so highlighting the benefits of the proposed framework.