It's gone a bit quiet around here so let's start off a lively debate....
What does the future hold for pipers do you all think? Are the days of the piper numbered, to be replaced by PDS jockeys? Will all the really big jobs of the future be moved to low cost destinations? (India Singapore etc.)
I do not believe that the days of the piper are numbered. I know that the way piping is done has changed, but piping is still piping.
Letâ€™s look at it this as an example. You can go to a computer store or an electronics store and buy a software program that has archictectural symbols and the capabilities to create walls, roofs, doors and windows. You can buy this for only a few dollars. You can take this program and produce pretty graphics and drawings of your present home or your dream home. That is easy.
But! And this is a big â€œBut.â€
Having the architectural software and having the skills to manipulate the architectural software does not make you an Architect.
Using this example and applying it to piping I say that someone who just learns PDS and does not spend time learning the technical side of piping is not a piper. This person is nothing more than a CAD machine operator who will someday do something very wrong and get someone killed.
As for the moving of â€œthe really big jobsâ€ offshore, I think that we will see some parts of some jobs shared with corporate partners located in other parts of the world. We now see more and more companies in foreign countries doing their own work. This is their right and is a good thing. The important thing to remember is the importance of and the complexities of the piping profession. These pipers in foreign countries need help to learn piping and how to do â€œitâ€ right.
I believe for the time being we are 'safe'. Yet with the advancment in computer tech I also believe there will come a day, if this system we live in lasts, when we will be dinosaurs. If any of us still exist as "Piping Designers", in that day, it will be just a title for those who nurse the machines along.
I too do not believe computers will replace Pipers anytime soon! To me a computer is nothing more then a pencil and paper. As JOP pointed out you can get fancy libraries of blocks and programs to USE to make piping systems. But I have yet to see ANY computer program that routs pipe from point "A" to point "B" using a specific piping spec by it's self!. IF you'll look at the history of this last oil boom, where the industry was now faced with large looming projects, they were beating the brush for "old guys" that basically learned on the board! They needed the knowledge and expertise to be able to design & ride heard over the drawings on these REAL projects ...They didn't go looking for better/faster computer programs or computer jockeys!
My only fear is that the knowledge of what it takes to generate a "good" Piping Designer is lost! I'm seeing that more and more each day! I see alot of engineers that canâ€™t recognize or know what it takes to do a "good" drawing. AND when I point these problems out I get ..."It's good enough!"
I heard an axiom once that says it all â€¦"IF good work is not recognized, then poor work will follow!" ...As I see it, truer words were not spoken! â€¦Cross your fingers! ....JOP/Anton! â€¦where did you say that bar was? *G*