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Rapid perception and processing of critical monitoring events are essential to ensure healthy operation of Internet of Manufacturing Things (IoMT)-based manufacturing processes. In this paper, we proposed a framework (active sensing and processing architecture (ASPIE)) for active sensing and processing of critical events in IoMT-based manufacturing based on the characteristics of IoMT architecture as well as its perception model. A relation model of complex events in manufacturing processes, together with related operators and unified XML-based semantic definitions, are developed to effectively process the complex event big data. A template based processing method for complex events is further introduced to conduct complex event matching using the Apriori frequent item mining algorithm. To evaluate the proposed models and methods, we developed a software platform based on ASPIE for a local chili sauce manufacturing company, which demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed methods for active perception and processing of complex events in IoMT-based manufacturing.