Key Principles & Best Practices of Lightweight Belting-2017

Tuesday and Wednesday
April 18-19, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI


The course is currently full. If you would like to be put on the waiting list, please email

NIBA's new and improved Key Principles & Best Practices of Lightweight Belting course offers employees new to your organization or less experienced in lightweight belting the opportunity to become acclimated with fundamental principles and essential techniques in a focused, two-day classroom setting.

Upon completion of this class, attendees will have a practical understanding of lightweight belting. They will learn the composition and general manufacturing process of the belts. They will be exposed to assorted fabrications which enhance the value and functionality of the product. Instructors will present key features and benefits of the various styles of lightweight belting, discuss common industry standards, as well as offer tips on trouble-shooting, belt tracking and how to avoid common and costly failures in the field. Attendees will also have the opportunity for ample Q&A with top industry professionals.

NIBA training courses educate and add real world value for those who are in the business of providing solutions to operational problems on conveyors. By combining knowledge of lightweight belting, explaining features and benefits of the products, conveyor system design attributes and requirements, as well as trouble shooting skills, this valuable learning opportunity is great as an introduction to the industry or a refresher course to an industry veteran. Classroom interaction among participants enhances learning opportunities and provides attendees with valuable industry relationships. Our course provides an interactive format with hands-on learning and demonstrations, as well as immediate answers to questions.  Make plans now to attend this dynamic, interactive seminar, but hurry, space is limited.

Instructors are NIBA Education & Technical Committee members Steve Fournier, Apache Inc; Mike Francis, Dunham Rubber & Belting Corporation and Mike VandenAkker, Sparks Belting Company.


Tuesday and Wednesday, April 18-19, 2017

  • Definition of Lightweight Belting
  • What makes up a conveyor belt
  • Fabrics
  • Covers
  • Thermoplastic vs. Thermoset
  • Profiles
  • Additives
  • Key Info on Data Sheets
  • Standards
  • Accessories (Custom Fabrications)
  • Splicing
  • Common Industries Using These Types
  • Compounds
  • Other Lightweight Belt Types
  • Other Topics

Course Objective

To learn the basics of lightweight belting, which includes synthetics, rubber, nylon core, quick splice, all plastic, and modular belting. The course will cover belt construction, splicing options, accessories and more.

Who Should Attend?

All persons in the light-duty belting industry who would benefit from utilizing the latest technology and applications. Attendees will be exposed to comprehensive information providing a means to increase equity with their customer base.

Seminar Lodging

A block of rooms has been reserved for NIBA at the Country Inn & Suites in Grand Rapids, MI. Please make your reservations directly with the hotel by calling 616-942-7000 or 1-800-456-4000. Rates are 109.99 for a standard room, plus taxes.
Mention that you are with NIBA to receive a special group rate or go to, click “more search options”, and in the text box that says “Enter Code or ID” type “NIBASM” to get this rate online as well. The room block will be held through March 19, 2017.


1995 Oak Industrial Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

A shuttle will take participants from the hotel to the Flexco where the class will be held and back again.  Please note: there is limited parking available at the class, so students are asked to take the shuttle.

Course Fee

Course enrollment is limited to 25 registrants.

  • Distributors: $595 before 3/27 ($670 after)
  • Manufacturers: $645 before 327 ($720 after)
  • Non-Members: $770

Fee Includes: Admission to the entire seminar, handouts, and materials, transportation to and from class, breakfast, refreshment breaks and lunch each day.

A 10% discount will be applied to the fee when sending more than one participant.

Cancellation Policy

A $50 cancellation fee is in effect prior to March 27, 2017. After that date, refunds cannot be guaranteed. 

Instructors Bios

Instructors are NIBA committee members Steve Fournier, Apache Inc; Mike Francis, Dunham Rubber & Belting Corporation and Mike VandenAkker, Sparks Belting Company.


 Steve Fournier has 23+ years’ experience in the belting industry. His experience includes onsite lightweight installation, system troubleshooting , and product recommendations as well as application training. His roles have included territory sales & installation, Regional Manager, Lightweight Product Manager, and currently the Director of Strategic Accounts at Apache, Inc.

Mike Francis is a partner at Dunham Rubber and Belting and serves as the National Sales Manager. During his 40th year at Dunham Rubber he has worked as a belt fabricator/installer, worked in inside sales, managed an outside sales territory and worked as belt product manager.


Michael VandenAkker has worked 37 years in the belting industry working for Sparks Belting Company. Currently the product manager responsible for the specifying, testing, approving all procurement of belting inventory.  He also served as the application specialist to the sales force recommending and training on proper belt selection and application. Experienced instructor in belt constructions, fabricating, splicing and applications.