Technical Product Designer – the design engineer’s right hand

When it comes to deciding on a career to train for, the paramount focus is often on questions like: preconditions, training content and subsequent career trajectories. I’m a trainee learning technical product design, and am meanwhile in the second year of my course. On the basis of my experience so far, I should like to give prospective trainees a better insight into the training offered for this technical career.

What preconditions are required?

No doubt about it: if your strengths are in mathematics, physics and in spatial conceptualisation, then you possess the optimum preconditions needed. It’s also very important to have an understanding of technical issues, since ultimately it’s the technical product designers who specify material selection, bonding technologies and tolerances in the manufacturing process. Furthermore, communication skills are a major focus in this career: often agreements have to be formulated with the design engineers or the production people so as to optimise the planning and design process.

What’s the content of the training?

The first year of a traineeship is spent mostly in the Training Centre itself.

There, in the product designer office, you learn the fundamentals of technical draughtsmanship, such as multiview orthographic projection and standard-compliant measuring of bodies. Then you’re familiarised with how the SolidEdge ST6 CAD system works. This is followed by approximately 3 months in Krones AG’s training workshop, where you are familiarised with the various production processes involved, like filing, sawing, drilling and bending. Besides the 4-week course in turning and milling, we were also granted a taster week in the welding shop. In addition, at Krones AG a product designer gets 2 weeks of familiarisation with electrical engineering, so as to acquire important fundamentals for the subsequent course in pneumatics.

From the second year onwards of your traineeship onwards, you will then be posted to specialist departments, getting directly involved in the planning and design processes.

What are the subsequent career trajectories?

Once you’ve passed your intermediate and final exams, you can look forward to an auspicious future. As a technical product designer, you’re fully involved in the development process, and stay with it all the way through to completion. As the design engineer’s right hand, you create drawings that are important for subsequent wishes from clients. A product designer, naturally enough, has plentiful options for advanced training. As a technical career, it can be easily linked to many engineering degree courses.