E-Commerce of bread making equipment based on expert system, distributed agents and virtual reality

Funding: CRAFT-Project in the 6th EU-Framework Programme
Project Duration: 01.01.2005 – 31.12.2006
Project Manager: Linda Ringer
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The most important developments that have occurred in the baking industry in recent years are the surge of intensive new product development and the increasing substitution of craft bakeries for industrial bakeries, although significant traditional bakery production still exists. These changes have occurred due to technological advances and have been supported by a shift in consumer lifestyle and preferences. New types of baked products have lead to produce a wide range of machinery in order to cope with product innovation, however SME bread-making equipment manufacturers are unable to supply a complete solution to their customers.

Most SMEs involved in the manufacture of equipment for the baking industry specialised in a limited range of equipment for the manufacture of specific baking products. There is, therefore, a need for a method capable of helping end clients or distributors to design and evaluate a specific configuration from different suppliers to satisfy customers’ needs, having limited or no knowledge about bread-making processes and technology.

The scientific results from this project will enhance the selling capacity of equipment producers, reduce the need to have a large number of personnel specialized in the design of installations and facilitate the supply of specialized equipment to produce regional products throughout the EU. The objective of this project is the creation of an e-commerce infrastructure that will assist end clients and/or selling personnel in the configuration of custom bread-making installations. Using this system end clients or vendors will be able to design, evaluate and order equipment for a specific installatio.