There are three sub-disciplines inside the piping discipline, namely:
- Piping Layout
- Piping Stress
- Piping Materials
Who are Piping Materials Engineers
By Definition Piping Materials Engineers are piping engineering individuals who are responsible for creating the project piping classes and the numerous piping specifications necessary to fabricate, test, insulate, and paint the piping systems.
Whatever the title, the piping material engineer (PME) is a very important person within the Piping Design Group and should be dedicated to a project from the bid stage until the design phase has been completed. He or she should also be available during construction and through to mechanical completion.
Normally, The lead piping material engineer, the individual responsible for all piping engineering functions, usually reports directly to the project lead piping engineer. Depending on the size of the project, the lead piping material engineer may be assisted by a number of suitably qualified piping material engineers, especially during the peak period of the project. This peak period is early in the job, while the piping classes are being developed and the first bulk inquiry requisitions are sent out to vendors.
Roles and Responsibilities of Piping Material Engineers
Layout and Stress Engineer’s activities are quite evident to most people in the industry, however, the activity performed by a Piping Material Engineer is always less known and underrated. Many of us think that Piping Material Engineer performs only MTO (Material Take Off). However, Piping Material Engineer performs a lot of activities in a project, and his role is very important in a project.
Piping Material Engineer’s activities include but are not limited to the following:
- To Perform the Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation
- To Prepare PMS (Piping Material Specification) for Process and Utility Services.
- To Prepare VMS (Valve Material Specification)
- To Purchase All the Piping Items, which includes below:
- Prepare the list of Piping Speciality Items like Steam Traps, Strainers, Hoses, etc.
- To Prepare the Data Sheets for the Piping Speciality Items
- To Perform the Line Blank Thickness Calculation
- To Perform the Reinforcement PAD Requirement calculation
- To Perform MTO (Material Take Off)
- To Control the Piping items quantity, monitor the surplus and shortage of Piping Items
- To Develop Fabrication/Welding Specifications, Shop and Field Testing Specifications, Piping Insulation, and Painting specifications.
- To Develop Technical Supply Conditions / Requirements for Various Piping Materials and to Make a technical recommendation.
- After placement of a purchase order, review and approve documentation from vendors related to piping components.
- When required, visit the vendor’s premises to attend kickoff meetings, the testing of piping components, or clarification meetings.
- Help 3D Administrator in the PMS creation in 3D Software like PDS, PDMS, etc.
- Make sure that everyone in the piping group is aware of the materials of construction that can be used for piping systems.
- To Liaise with the following departments: Piping Design and Stress, Process, Instrumentation, Vessels, Mechanical, Structural, Procurement, and Material Control.
- To Maintain project technical files and update Company standards
- To Perform the inter-disciplines checking for the part of documents in accordance with the scope of the piping material section
So to summarize a Piping Material Engineer must be a Good Communicator, must have experience in Piping Design and Piping Material Properties, must be aware of corrosion characteristics of Piping Materials, must be aware of welding Processes necessary for the fabrication of piping systems, and must have a basic understanding of all other disciplines which have an interface with piping. Finally, He must be aware of economics which includes the material selection to reduce costly high-pressure and alloy piping runs and reduce the use of odd, high-cost fittings.
Piping Materials Engineer Jobs
Piping Materials Engineers are highly sought-after professionals in various industries where the design, construction, and maintenance of piping systems are critical. These engineers play a vital role in ensuring the integrity, safety, and reliability of piping networks. Here are some of the key industries where Piping Materials Engineers are recruited:
Oil and Gas Industry: Piping Materials Engineers are in high demand in the oil and gas sector. They work on projects involving pipelines, refineries, offshore platforms, and petrochemical plants.
Chemical and Petrochemical Industry: Piping Materials Engineers play a critical role in selecting materials that can withstand the corrosive and hazardous chemicals used in chemical processing plants and petrochemical facilities. They ensure compliance with industry standards to maintain safety and productivity.
Power Generation: Power plants, whether nuclear, fossil fuel-based, or renewable energy facilities, require extensive piping systems for the transport of steam, water, and other fluids. Piping Materials Engineers are responsible for selecting materials that can handle high temperatures and pressures.
Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology: Industries like pharmaceuticals and biotechnology rely on sanitary and high-purity piping systems for the production of drugs and biologics. Piping Materials Engineers work to maintain product integrity and regulatory compliance.
Mining and Minerals Processing: The mining industry utilizes extensive piping networks for transporting ores, slurries, and chemicals. Piping Materials Engineers select materials that can withstand abrasive environments and prevent corrosion.
Water and Wastewater Treatment: In municipal and industrial water treatment plants, Piping Materials Engineers are responsible for designing corrosion-resistant and durable piping systems to handle water purification, distribution, and sewage treatment.
Food and Beverage Industry: Food processing and beverage production facilities require sanitary and hygienic piping systems. Piping Materials Engineers ensure that materials meet FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and other regulatory requirements.
Nuclear Industry: Piping Materials Engineers in the nuclear industry focus on materials that can withstand radiation and extreme conditions. They play a crucial role in the safe operation of nuclear power plants.
Maritime and Shipbuilding: In shipbuilding and maritime industries, Piping Materials Engineers are involved in the design and maintenance of complex piping systems for ships, offshore platforms, and maritime infrastructure.
Building and Construction: Piping Materials Engineers also find opportunities in the building and construction sector, where they work on plumbing systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and other building infrastructure projects.
Renewable Energy: With the growing focus on renewable energy sources like solar and geothermal, Piping Materials Engineers are involved in designing and maintaining piping systems for these technologies.
Automotive Industry: In automotive manufacturing, Piping Materials Engineers work on the design of fluid-carrying systems, such as fuel lines, brake lines, and cooling systems.
Research and Development: Some Piping Materials Engineers are employed in research and development roles in materials science, working on innovations in materials for various industries.
Salary of a Piping Materials Engineer
The salary of a Piping Materials Engineer can vary significantly depending on several factors, including experience, location, industry, education, and the specific employer. In India, the salaries are at the lower end whereas in the USA and Europe, the salaries are higher.
Below, I’ll provide a general salary range for Piping Materials Engineers in the USA:
- Entry-Level: Piping Materials Engineers who are just starting their careers can typically expect a salary in the range of $48,000 to $80,000 per year. This can vary based on location and industry demand.
- Mid-Career: With several years of experience, Piping Materials Engineers can earn salaries ranging from $80,000 to $120,000 per year.
- Experienced/Senior: Those with extensive experience and expertise in Piping Materials Engineering can earn salaries exceeding $120,000, often reaching $150,000 or more per year.
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