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This paper presents a survey of design problems associated with the implementation of computer control of discrete manufacturing processes. The two primary application requirements placed on the digital computers are identified and discussed; namely, the information system function and the equipment control system function. A tutorial survey is then given of three computer structures to implement control of manufacturing operations. The relative advantages and disadvantages of each of these systems are discussed, Finally a new structure is presented that uses a multilevel computer concept with satellite computers at the lowest level. A detailed view of the satellite computer, including hardware requirements, software requirements, and timing considerations, is given. Emphasis is placed on a modular design that meets the real-time needs at the most fundamental level of a manufacturing plant. Extensions are then given to computer requirements at upper levels, hardware and software configurations, and real-time versus interrupt capability.