An active service architecture called AAS (active service based on acquaintances) for intelligent manufacturing environments was proposed. The proposed architecture exploits stable relation and resourceful nodes, called acquaintances, which perform active services in the manufacturing network. The AAS architecture recognizes node heterogeneity in terms of mobility and capability. We analyze the characteristics of AAS architecture and operations for optimal system performance. By showing that AAS outperforms broadcast-based solutions in manufacturing environments, we validate that AAS is a flexible and adaptable architecture appropriate for dynamic manufacturing environments.