Black & Decker Manufacturing Corp. has tapped Nolan D. Archibald, president of the consumer durables division at Beatrice Cos. Inc., to be president and chief operating officer of the Towson, Md., manufacturer of power tools and household products.

Laurence J. Farley, president and chief executive officer since 1983, will relinquish the job of president and become chairman of the board. Although Alonzo G. Decker Jr., son of the company's founder, is an honorary chairman, the company has been operating without a functional chairman, a spokeswoman said.

Archibald, 42, a specialist in marketing and product development, in addition to general management, has been in charge of the $1.7 billion consumer durables operation at Beatrice, one of that company's fastest-growing and most profitable segments.

Farley, 49, a former chief financial officer of Conrail and treasurer of RCA Corp., said Archibald will be central in Black & Decker's efforts to develop new product lines, including a line of cordless kitchen products due out this fall, and in expanding the market scope of this international manufacturing firm.

Black & Decker, which last year completed the purchase of General Electric Co.'s housewares operations, reported profits were up 116 percent to $95.4 million on sales of $1.5 billion in fiscal 1984. As a result of the housewares purchase, GE acquired a 6 percent interest in the Towson firm, making it the largest single stockholder.