Trying to jump from Automotive design to Piping design, can it be done ?

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cw in MI in Clinton Township, Michigan

72 months ago

Wondering how tough it is to crossover from the automotive design industry to the Piping design industry. I've been an automotive designer for 17 years, mostly plastics some metal forming tooling. Started fresh running blueprints , then worked my way onto the drafting board and now can run 3 systems (Catia V5,SDRC, and Unigraphics.) Well the automotive design industry is drying up (at least in the US)and even bouncing state to state isn't helping. I found out about this career and would love to move into it. I'm already enrolled in a PDS course that starts in a month. I know it's a word of mouth thing in the auto biz , is it the same in the pipers biz ? Will I run into a lot of road blocks ? When I started designing , degree's were not needed so I never earned one. Is this going to be an issue ?

Thanks

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Pierce

71 months ago

cw in MI in Clinton Township, Michigan said: Wondering how tough it is to crossover from the automotive design industry to the Piping design industry. I've been an automotive designer for 17 years, mostly plastics some metal forming tooling. Started fresh running blueprints , then worked my way onto the drafting board and now can run 3 systems (Catia V5,SDRC, and Unigraphics.) Well the automotive design industry is drying up (at least in the US)and even bouncing state to state isn't helping. I found out about this career and would love to move into it. I'm already enrolled in a PDS course that starts in a month. I know it's a word of mouth thing in the auto biz , is it the same in the pipers biz ? Will I run into a lot of road blocks ? When I started designing , degree's were not needed so I never earned one. Is this going to be an issue ?

Thanks

Taking a PDS couse isn't all you will need. Do you know anything about piping design? Also we are going through a "bust" right now. Companies are laying off almost everyday! If you have heard piping designers make big money and that is one reason you are getting into it you may want to rethink. While it was true that pipers were making big money they are now getting the boot in the layoffs. PDS designers were really making the bucks not because it is such a specialized software, but because there were not a lot of PDS designers out there. Supply and demand. Now the market is flooded with folks that know PDS because the mini boom had so many people trained. When things pick up again some guy making big dollars that was released will expect a big cut if/when things pick up.
Like I said you need to know piping design & it takes 15 years minimum to call yourself a piping designer. Otherwise you are a drafter or CAD operator...they aren't designers. There is no such thing as a CAD designer. You need some piping design classes as well.
Pierce
Houston TX

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cw in Clinton Township, Michigan

71 months ago

Actually money has nothing to do with it. I love what I do but I see huge lull in the automotive industry so I am looking at other avenues to keep designing. I don't care what it is, aero, piping, etc. I just want to stay employed.
Trust me I know about the differences between a real designer and a CAD operator. For the past 3 or 4 years I've had to deal with the huge amount of work being done "offshore" and the quality of it. Having been this for 17 years that's all we have been dealing with lately is CAD operators.
I realize it will take more than a class to get started , hence the reason for my original post. The class was an opportunity that presented itself and I chose to take it. When your faced with no career and you have at least 20 years left to retire, you follow any hint of an opportunity.
I didn't have a clue about automotive design when I first started, but I took some classes, knocked on quite a few doors and got myself in. I worked hard , learned as much as I could (and still am learning) and got myself to this point.
It's good to hear your point of view , someone that is actually in it. From the way the person that is involved in the program I'm in talks is there is a huge need for these designers and companies can't find people fast enough.

Thank you for your time.

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Roj in Woodbridge, Ontario

65 months ago

In regards to your comment about the "offshore" or cheap outsourcing as I refer to it. The problem is in almost all companies management do not appreciate and often underestimate the value of a good mechanical designer. The CAD software is just a tool and has nothing to do with how much you will get paid. However, many managers and company owners see this differently. They see the designers behind the CAD tube all day, so therefore assume they are merely operators. So .. to save money "the bottom line" they get rid of the full time designers and outsource to cheap countries and third party contractors. What they don't realize is that 90% of the work that goes into any design is good planning and thinking things through before throwing geometry on the screen to impress the boss. Companies that realize this sooner than later will be the successes of the future...

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