5 questions for a prototypist

October 20, 2023
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Each of Soucy’s subsidiaries is specialized in a specific field, meaning there are a variety of jobs offered in our company! For instance, do you know what a prototypist does? They are essential to product development, but no specific training exists for this position. A person trained in machining or welding has the necessary skills to become a prototypist but anyone who is resourceful and flexible may also qualify. Today, we’re sharing Samuel Larouche’s story.

Evolving within the same company

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Samuel joined Soucy in March 2023 as a welder on the production line. One day, he was tasked with bringing parts to another section of the manufacturing plant. That’s where he saw a prototypist in their workshop. Samuel was intrigued and asked his supervisor for more information about that role.

At Soucy, we value career development and help our employees grow within the company. Samuel's supervisor told him that a prototyping position was open and that he could apply. That's how Samuel became a prototypist who is now part of the Soucy Sports Motorisés team.

Samuel and his team mainly design parts and accessories for recreational vehicles including doors, plow systems, bumpers and luggage racks. These parts are manufactured for major companies such as BRP, Kawasaki and Argo.

What do you do on a typical day?

“That's a very good question, no two days are the same!“ says Samuel.proto

Prototypists work in collaboration with the engineering and design teams. Their tasks depend on customer needs and are established at the beginning of the week. For instance, on any given day, Samuel might:

  • inspect products
  • assemble parts
  • check the quality of materials
  • create parts or design prototypes based on CAD
  • test vehicles
  • perform strength tests on parts

These tasks are assigned to the prototypists on a project-by-project basis.

What kind of profile do you need to become a prototypist at Soucy?

I think being passionate about motorsports is an asset because you already spend your free time engaged with this type of content. It also takes someone who closely monitors the market for new models and emerging technologies,” says Samuel.

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Samuel also believes that someone who wants to become a prototypist needs to be self-sufficient and unafraid of giving their opinion. That’s because prototypists are often called upon to express their points of view during meetings. Moreover, because the parts in question generally do not exist yet, prototypists need to assess the feasibility of the project and determine how to manufacture the product while ensuring the customer’s requirements are met. Once the part is shipped to the customer, these requirements may change. That’s why Samuel says it’s very important to be creative and have problem-solving skills.

Samuel also admits he can sometimes get stuck on a project. Fortunately, the beauty of being a prototypist is that he can work on several products at the same time. So he can set a part aside, let his ideas simmer and then tackle the issue later on.

What kind of training does a prototypist need?

There is currently no formal training available to become a prototypist. But, according to Samuel, a person interested in this position does need to have certain skills, such as resourcefulness. On a past project, one of his colleagues was faced with a deadline that was pushed forward. He therefore had to rely on his ingenuity to find the material he needed from among scraps. Samuel also believes a prototypist needs to love learning:

“The job will push you to adapt your techniques and your way of working as the project progresses. You're going to be learning every day, and that's what's so stimulating!“

What do you love most about your job?

Samuel talks about his job with a twinkle in his eyes. “I love the freedom and autonomy that comes with my job. I obviously have to meet customer needs, but no one is standing behind me, looking over my shoulder to monitor what I’m working on or how I work. I also love the team and appreciate the trust they’ve placed in me.

If you are also interested in working with leading names in the motorsports industry, visit our career site to find out what positions are available at Soucy Sports Motorisés.

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