14th Annual Notch Pipe Welding Challenge Bend-Off Recap

Wed., May 16, 2012

Sparks were flying (welding sparks that is) in preparation for the 14th Annual Notch Pipe Welding Challenge Bend-Off. Ninety-two vocational students participated.



-Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough, MA
-Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School,Upton, MA
-Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Chicopee, MA
-William J. Dean Technical High School, Holyoke, MA
-Franklin County Technical High School, Turners Falls, MA
-Gateway Regional High School, Huntington, MA
-Howell Cheney Technical High School, Manchester, CT
-McCann Technical School, North Adams, MA
-Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Rochester, MA
-Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, Billerica, MA
-Taconic High School, Pittsfield, MA

These students were invited to perform a carbon steel, SMAW, 6” pipe weld in the 1G position to be eligible to take part in the weld challenge competition. Each student was judged on the ASME Section IX quality.

Out of ninety-two competitors only sixteen passed the visual inspection to go into the final round. The sixteen competitors and their classmates all came together on May 9, 2012, at our Chicopee Fabrication Facility to see if their weld-coupons could withstand the bend-off challenge.

Operating the hydraulic coupon bend tester was our most seasoned senior craft Notch employee and in-house visual inspector of 39 years, Bob Forest. Bob made all the bends in the weld-coupons for the sixteen finalists and inspecting each bent weld-coupon was Rich Murray from Holyoke Gas & Electric, as well as Carl Cohen from Hartford Steam Boiler.

While the inspectors were deliberating the winners, Roger Neveu (Notch’s founder) gave an inspiring speech to the students. He spoke of how he too started at a vocational school and through hard work, dedication and skill he developed Notch from a small 3 craft employee business based out of his home to having a 15,000 sq ft office and fabrication shop with 60 plus employees. Shortly after Roger’s speech, the inspectors had the winning tallies in.

We are proud to report we had 6 winners who passed the bend-off challenge. Our winners are:

In sixth place: Joesph Lemieux from Old Colony Regional Vocational High School
In fifth place: Kenny Young from Chicopee Comprehensive High School
In fourth place: Jon Bander from Franklin County Technical High School
In third place: Jake Comeau from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School
In second place: Jorge Ceilio from Howell Cheney Technical High School
And our Top Notch Welder: Mike Majewski from Howell Cheney Technical High School

All winners received welding gear and supplies from our generous *sponsors. Our grand prize was $500.00 cash to our first place winner along with $500.00 gift certificate to Ivey Industries for their school to purchase supplies.

Notch Mechanical Constructors has established this annual event for southern New England vocational students to encourage development of welding skills and reward excellence in welding achievement. Notch is pleased to see an ever-growing amount of participation in this event and looks forward to continuing the community tradition year after year.

*Our sponsors were:
Notch Mechanical Constructors, Airgas, Inc., Bassette Printers, Inc., Collins Pipe and Supply Co., Inc., eRolls, Inc., F.W. Webb, Mackey Mechanical Services, Ivey Industries Inc., United Rental, Zampbell Refractories Inc. , Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. – Massachusetts Chapter, B.E. Crowley Inc., Colony Tools, Supplies & Safety Products, Fastenal, Gould Construction Institute, Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, Lincoln Electric, LSHD Advertising, Inc., Marcotte Ford, Peterson Steel Corporation, Tierney & Dalton Associates, Inc., Moldex, Miller Electric, Carhartt, Swiss Uniform Services, Hartford Steam Boiler, Ryan Herco Flow Solutions, International Valve & Instrument.

About Notch
A family-owned business since 1972, Notch Mechanical Constructors specializes in the installation of piping systems for industrial and institutional facilities. From our offices in Chicopee and Hudson, Massachusetts, we serve customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Southern New Hampshire, Southern Vermont, and Eastern New York.