The increasing decentralization of manufacturing has contributed to the growing interest in scalable distributed manufacturing systems (DMSs). The emerging body of work from smart manufacturing, Industrie 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and cyber-physical systems can enable the continued development of scalable DMS, particularly through the digital thread. However, significant challenges exist in understanding how to apply the digital thread most appropriately for scalable DMS. This paper describes these major challenges and provides a standards and technology roadmap developed from the digital thread viewpoint and consensus-built industrial standards to realize scalable DMS. The goal of this roadmap is to guide research that enables manufacturers to take advantage of opportunities provided by scalable DMS, including improved agility, flexibility, traceability, dynamic decision making, and utilization of manufacturing resources.

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