The digital factory paradigm comprises a multi-layered integration of the information related to various activities along the factory and product lifecycle manufacturing related resources. A central aspect of a digital factory is that of enabling the product lifecycle stakeholders to collaborate through the use of software solutions. The digital factory thus expands outside the actual company boundaries and offers the opportunity for the business and its suppliers to collaborate on business processes that affect the whole supply chain. This paper discusses an interoperability architecture for digital factories. To this end, it delves into the issue by analysing the main challenges that must be addressed to support an integrated and scalable factory architecture characterized by access to services, aggregation of data, and orchestration of production processes. Then, it revises the state of the art in the light of these requirements and proposes a general architectural framework conjugating the most interesting features of service-oriented architectures and data sharing architectures. The study is exemplified through a case study.
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