Getting stamps from another company

Help Support Engineer Boards:

6.0

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I am a relatively new Mechanical Engineer with a small company that does not have a PE. We make tools/walkways/lifting devices/etc. for construction companies and other similar groups. I have heard that it is illegal for another company to stamp our products without being directly involved in the design process. We usually send our drawing sets to a PE(not under our payroll/is paid per job) after the project has been designed, for the PE to stamp. Are there any other suggestions for how we should proceed on further projects if this is illegal/frowned upon other than just hiring a full time PE? I would like to make sure that our company complies by any rules that are necessary instead of just leaving for a company that does things better. If there are any rules that apply to this(I live in Arizona), can you please include them so I can reference them/show them to my employer if necessary? Thank you for any input, as I would like to make sure my career starts on the right path.
 

ChebyshevII PE

Don of EB Mafia
EB Supporter
Joined
Dec 8, 2018
Messages
8,729
Reaction score
2,931
Location
E-WA
A couple of things:

1) It really depends on your state's laws. Some are strict enough to say that a PE cannot stamp a design/drawing unless they have had direct supervisory control over the project, period. But there are others that provide limited exceptions, which usually involve the stamping engineer thoroughly documenting their review process against the design and retaining it for a period of time. You didn't list your state, so the first thing I'll say is: check your state's engineering laws.
2) Assuming that it is legal for a PE in a given state to stamp something they did not have direct control over, the engineer needs to be *very* careful in these situations. If my stamp is on a design, that means I either had direct supervision and control over the design process, or have reviewed it thoroughly, and I certify that it is feasible, adequate, and safe (this is the operative word). If the design kills someone or damages property, the one who is ultimately liable is me, regardless of who actually did the design. Therefore, I would personally be very selective about what I stamp, and in my case I would probably refuse to stamp anything that I wasn't involved in from the get go, just to protect myself from undue liability.

There are a number of other threads on this forum that have addressed this question also. For example: How much would you charge to review and stamp drawings?

The consensus seems to be that stamping things you didn't personally have involvement with is a bad idea at best. This being the case, what you might consider doing is hiring a PE (on a contract basis) to actually be involved early (read: the beginning) in the design process, rather than hiring them at the end of the design process just for stamping purposes. It will be more expensive to do this, however.
 
Last edited:

steelnole15

Nobody asked you
EB Supporter
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4,395
Reaction score
598
Location
Pittsburgh
While that option (actually hiring a PE) may be more expensive, if a company routinely needs projects designed and signed/sealed, why would you not have a PE on staff anyway? Just seems like bad business practice.
 

Spitfire6532

PE Wannabe
EB Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Messages
6,435
Reaction score
289
Location
Outside... Hopefully
PE salaries are expensive, especially for smaller companies. For example, most of what I do is reviewing plans for small architectural firms. It would be too expensive and they don't do enough plans per year to justify having a PE on staff. For every hour I spend engineering the plans, they probably spend 20 working on the architectural design. In addition to this, some of the liability is offset by having an outside contractor review and stamp their designs.
 

steelnole15

Nobody asked you
EB Supporter
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4,395
Reaction score
598
Location
Pittsburgh
PE salaries are expensive, especially for smaller companies. For example, most of what I do is reviewing plans for small architectural firms. It would be too expensive and they don't do enough plans per year to justify having a PE on staff. For every hour I spend engineering the plans, they probably spend 20 working on the architectural design. In addition to this, some of the liability is offset by having an outside contractor review and stamp their designs.
In that case it makes sense. That architectural firm is your client. It's two different professions that need to work together.

Now if you were doing that for a firm with engineers on staff, that's what I'm referring to. I believe there's no excuse to have engineers on your payroll but not have a professional among them.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Messages
546
Reaction score
106
Location
New Jersey
There are a few areas of concern in this thread.

1) Unless you have your PE, you are not an engineer and can not promote yourself as an Engineer. You could be issued a violation by the Board of Professional Engineers in your state which would stay on your record and could affect you getting your PE license when you apply.

2) Any PE signing off on a drawing should be involved with the entire design process and double check any calculations you perform. As the Engineer of Record, they would be held liable for any design flaw should an accident occur on the jobsite.

3) If an engineer is signing plans without thorough review or involvement in the design, you may want to question if they even carry Liability Insurance.

4) Are the architects aware that your firm has no PE on staff? If there are no PE's,you could be in violation of state laws for offering engineering services ifthe company promotes it as being done in-house.

5) If you plan on going for your PE license, lookupthe experience requirements. Most if not all states require a certain amount of you experience to be under direct supervision of a PE. You don't want to be in a situation where you apply forPE and find out your last 3-4 years don't count because the PE signing the plans has no clue of your work/involvement.
 

steelnole15

Nobody asked you
EB Supporter
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
4,395
Reaction score
598
Location
Pittsburgh
There are a few areas of concern in this thread.

1) Unless you have your PE, you are not an engineer and can not promote yourself as an Engineer.
Not entirely true. I am not allowed to call myself a “professional engineer” but there is nothing that says my job title cannot have the term “engineer” in it. It all varies by state, as some states have title restrictions and some do not.
 
https://www.passpe.com/

Latest posts

Top