The CIM's view of manufacturing as a system, working towards common goals through the sharing of common information, should guide any design, analysis or retrofit efforts related to production systems. The line/cell information model presented here, which is based on the concept of an irreducible set of interacting information objects, reflects such a view. It allows access to information from higher levels of system hierarchy. CAD and CAM files supply the model with the context necessary for meaningful line autonomy and real-time reporting. Evolving knowledge about the line functionality is supported by an abstraction/inheritance class mechanism. The model is suitable not only for integration of hi-tech production technology, but also for use in traditional assembly lines (as shown in the implementation example).