Continue to Site

Welcome to MCAD Central

Join our MCAD Central community forums, the largest resource for MCAD (Mechanical Computer-Aided Design) professionals, including files, forums, jobs, articles, calendar, and more.

Deference btw EU and America


New member
What is main deference in thinking and working between Europe and America?

In areas connected to research, development and maybe something which I didn
I don't think that there are many differences in people from different countires. There are always different work ethics, but I'd think that would be in the people, independent of their ethnicities.
In Germany you have a month vacation every year, in America you either work all of the time or you are on vacation all of the time.

The EU has designed things like the Hindenberg and the Titanic, in America we design the Kitty Hawk and Old Ironsides. On the other hand, the Ferarri and Porsche are OK as compared to the Edsel but we do have the Corvette ... and the Cheeky Monkey.

Enough of that answer... what are you asking? Please break down the question in a little more detail.

I've worked 25 years, all but 2 in the US. Those 2 I spent in France. The French were much more inclined to believe blindly in formulas, equations and specifications. If something was in print it had the power of absolute fact behind it. It didn't matter that I had test data that shot their beloved theory full of holes.

The French also never questioned the customer to find out what he really wanted or needed. If some spec writter had inserted a requirement that was absurd and doubled the price of a product then that was what they got. No customer contact allowed to try to work out a mutually benificial compromise.

The French are also extremely nationalistic. All French firms were automatically given preference over anyone else. It didn't matter that their quality, price and delivery was awful. They do respect the Germans and Swiss for the technical competence but they think Americans are un-educated & lazy and they absolutely hate the English. I litterly sat in my bosses office while she pounded the table and shouted I hate the English, I hate the English, I hate the English!

However, I loved the food, wine, museums, holidays and topless beaches.
Ever work with Orientals? In particular, the Japanese. They will not tell you that they cannot do something. They will only say, That will be very difficult. The American will sit there and say, Yea, so? Go do it. Not understanding that it cannot be done by them. Been there. Infuriating!

Also, they are vary paternal. If the boss says to do something a certain way, they just go do it that way. Never question why. Most American designers, etc. will at least raise the question.

Speling: Ignore the ones that are giving you a hard time. They had abusive parents.

i don't know if all of you can generalize how people behave depending on your experiences. i am a graduate student who works in a lab with students from all over the world. we have language and cultural barriers at times, but we overcome them. i see that everyone is hardworking and exhibits traits seen in all cultures. i still stand that there are irritating as well as nice, hardworking people in all cultures. maybe those of you who are giving these bad examples just had bad luck. many people in my family work as engineers in japanese owned companies. they deal with each other quite frequently and have no more trouble solving problems together than if they were to work with their american counterparts. i am sure that there is some merit in your arguments, but i have a hard time believing that you do not find companies in the US that have people who behave in the same way.
Abusive parents ??? Sorry shrink, you missed it completly.

A national pastime for the French IS hating the English, no question about that, but I don't know why. Maybe it comes from eating snails.

Japanese paternal, yes, the Chinese are much worse in that regard. They are hard working and intelligent but no 'brass' its like working with a little brother or sister. Other asian countries like Vietnam aren't quite as bad, but don't accept an offer to a barbeque.

Germans tend to think they know everything and won't accept input even from a customer. Most countries have a sense of nationalism but not quite as strong.

Middle East, forget it. They hate westerners unless they want something like an education or saving their bacon. In the US they are very polite but in their home country you are less than dirt.

Thats my experience with cultural generalities but as others have pointed out its more the individual.

i understand that you can see common attributes among people from the same culture. it still bothers me that you all seem to hark on the bad qualities. take the US for instance... all the attributes named in this discussiion can probably be found in the US.

I have encountered companies where they are very much like a family. As for the French comments that companies get special treatment, don't you think that money is the deciding factor in the US?
Have I noticed an air of indifference in here? Why do we have to attack one another verbally? This is a Pro/E User site, not a Yahoo! Chat Room :). Sorry, but I have already developed a dislike for a few characters in here. Cheers from the US ;)
I don't see what this topic has to do with Pro/E in the first place, and now it's going off on another unrelated topic.

Please send enhancement requests to the site by filling out the form at . If it is a valuable and feasible request, it will be assigned a priority and enter the queue.

Your above request of creating a court to remove members of this forum would not fly. I will make that decision alone.
nkpham, no question that all of the mentioned attributes whether you consider then bad or good, can be found in the US.

A lot of individuals have immigrated here and attitudes can be passed down generations for many reasons. Take for example the Amish, they came here for religeous freedom. They never grow a beard or wear a belt. They consider them signs of evil. Their oppressors from years back had handlebar moustaches and wore wide belts with ornate buckles like a badge. To them it makes sense but it wouldn't necessarily make sense to everyone today.

As far as the family attitude in companies it is everywhere but I see it very promonent in Japan. There are something like 7 large conglomerates and if one of their subsideraries make an item you need to operate then you pretty much have to get it there whether someone else makes a better or cheaper item or not. There are minor exceptions. It works for them and whether it is bad or good is only opinion.


To get back on track, as it goes with the differences between doing engineering in North America vs. doing engineering in Europe, I'll keep my response technical:

A. Europeans use ISO and DIN standards primarily. North Americans use standards from many different organizations e.g. ASTM, ANSI, MS, MA, NEMA, NASM, SAE, NAS, MIL-STD,...

B. Europeans use metric units almost completely. North Americans use both metric and english units (or jointly) depending on customer requirements and their supplier base.

C. North American drawings primarily use the third-angle projection convention. European drawings use primarily the first-angle projection convention.

D. European engineering is less influenced by financial considerations than engineering in the US. They tend to put more up front into product development. They know that the best spent product design dollar (or euro) is spent BEFORE the product hits production. They understand, as engineers and lineworkers do, that it takes twenty euros to fix something that could have been caught in the design stage for one euro! Engineering-dominated businesses who cross their t's and dot their i's during product development deliver good products that endure while satisfying the buyer's every requirement! Stockholders and stakeholders in the US need to be more mature with their quarterly expectations and should expect that good products designed by young companies cost more and take longer to design than products that were designed under the gun with unrealistic schedules and budgets. Good products come from good processes used by well-trained and motivated people. Once the processes are in place and everyone's on the same page then good products can actually be designed faster! Attention stockholder: let's boot out the softshoe bean counters and put in engineers who communicate well while not being afraid to speak frankly.

Oops, I spun out of control there in item D. but it sure made me feel better!

Nuff said!


Standards vary according to discipline also, eg Aerospace (including Airbus and R-R) use 3rd angle and Imperial units, medical metric etc.

Also, you didn't mention ASME which seems to be superseding everything and MS is mil..

Not sure where you got your experience of Continental companies but mine was with GEC, Austin-Rover and R-R and it was always design on a shoestring and everyone was union.

Sounds like you have a case of the grass is greener....

Just a comment on your D. Stockholders do not care about the product, they only care about their stock value. Get in, get out. To hell with the company, and the employees.

This is why I would NEVER go public with a comany. If I have to wait to expand, so be it.