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Re: Plan stampers

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I think that Jordan is on point here.  The company that work for now has
to have shop drawings sealed on occasion by local code officials, etc.
When this is required, we contract with an licensed engineer (doing it
myself as a direct employee is rather potentially messy in some/many
states due to company ownership requirements that many state PE Act laws
have).  That licensed engineer does all the engineering design and makes
the engineering decisions...does the calcs/analysis, selects member sizes,
details connections, sketchs details or selects "standard" details to use,
and then gives that information to us.  Then our drafters put the
engineer's design on the drawings.  Our drafters are just the "pencil"
drawing the pictures of what the engineer wants.  Then, the engineer will
obvious backcheck that our drafters drew what he designed, make changes
(redlines) if things are not right, etc...until thing are correct.  Then
depending on state PE laws in the state where the project is located, the
engineer will either seal the drawings or write a letter (similar to what
Jordan mentioned in another message) and seal the letter.

To me, the big thing is not to confuse drawing something with engineering
something.  As others have point out correctly, engineers are not paid the
piece of papers that we send out...but rather the content of what is shown
on those pieces of paper.  There is the joke/fable/etc that comes to mind
that illustrates it.  It is the one about an engineer that worked for
company for a while.  He retires.  Suddenly, one of the machines stops
working.  All the people still at the company can't figure out why it
stopped working, so a manager decides to hire the retired engineer to come
back to a find the problem.  The retired engineer comes back looks things
over, thinks about it for a while, and then pulls out a piece of chaulk
and marks a part of the equipment with an "X" and say replace this.  He
later sends the manager the bill, which is for something like $10000
(don't recall the amount...don't really recall the joke/fable/story
perfectly anyway).  The manager is in shock...he asks the engineer why it
is costing him $10000 for a little mark from a little piece of chaulk.
The retired engineer tells him: "It is $1 for the piece of chaulk and
$9999 for me knowing where to put the mark."  It is the same with drawings
that many of us send out...while the proportions may not be in line with
the joke/fable/story, the bulk of our fee is to compensate for the
knowledge to necessarily to know what size the beams/columns, etc need to
be that get drawn on the pieces of paper.  The pieces of paper just happen
to be a tangible representation of what the engineer actually was engaged
to do...the design.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Wed, 20 Jul 2005, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:

> Well, designs don't materialize out of thin air. Somebody has to create
> them before they can be lines on paper.  Sometimes this is a "designer",
> sometimes a computer program, sometimes an engineer.  It sounds like the
> code folks are requiring that the somebody should be a PE, even if it
> happens to be a PE entering data into a computer program, the thought is
> that the PE should be reviewing - and at least spot checking - the data
> that comes out to make sure that the program running correctly.  They're
> asking that the plans be properly prepared, with back calcs done by a
> registered engineer to create the design (not calcs created to match the
> design).  Code enforcement has been so lax in the past, that methods of
> business which don't comply with code has been allow to become standard
> practice.
>
> I don't see whats so hard about it. I do engineering for a local fab
> house when an inspector or architect calls for it.  They send me the
> arch. plans and their preferred panel layout. I do the calcs and note
> the drawings with thicknesses, reinforcement, special details (rarely
> necessary), and connection requirements. They do all the drafting, I
> back check the prints, and when the drawings are complete and accurate I
> seal them.  Architects do the same thing - they lay it out, I analyze,
> size, annotate, and approve.  Getting the engineer involved early is
> relatively foreign to manufacturers who have never had to do it in the
> past.
>
> Jim Wilson wrote:
>
> >A rhetorical question about the "illegality" of plan
> >stamping -
> >
> >Why do some inspectors require small project design
> >AND fabrication drawings with engineering seals ON THE
> >DRAWING?  They are effectively asking us to break the
> >law, aren't they - that is if the drawing was
> >originally created by the fabricator?  There are
> >plenty of small-time fab shops that have no choice but
> >to hire an engineer to stamp drawings created by their
> >in-house people.  And if every engineer followed the
> >"letter of the law" and insisted on creating their own
> >drawings on their own letterhead, these guys would be
> >out of business.
> >
> >I don't mean to suggest that the law is there to be
> >broken, but isn't there any room for interpretation?
> >These board disciplinary decisions that have been
> >mentioned make the matter sound so black and white.
> >
> >Jim Wilson
> >Stroudsburg, PA
> >
> >
>
>
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