How many companies would have the courage to modify a product that alone accounts for 50% of the turnover?

Groeneveld-BEKA by Timken did it, and it was a success.

Thanks to the collaboration with MPT Plastica which was responsible for redesigning the pump body and tank of an automatic lubrication system, managing to:

  • optimize operation
  • facilitate production
  • reduce costs.

Read the full article to find out all the details of this collaboration.

I casi risolti di MPT Plastica sistema di lubrificazione


The Twin automatic lubrication system was developed years ago, mainly for vehicles with many lubrication points, such as buses or trucks. Initially intended for road transport, it was subsequently adopted by major companies such as Caterpillar, Volvo and most recently by John Deere. Precisely in response to the needs of this latter customer, the customer undertook a project to optimize this grease pump, characterized by a body made of 30% glass fiber polyamide.

Initially, they moved from the original squared geometry to a cylindrical shape, which allowed to reduce overall dimensions and avoided the risk of the fat not being able to fill the corner areas and thus air pockets forming inside the container. However, some significant critical issues remained, mainly linked to sealing problems, the entry of air and water, deformations and shrinkage during the molding phase.

The customer knew well all the aspects relating to the functionality of the pump and the critical issues to be overcome, but they were completely ignorant of everything regarding the possible solutions obtainable through adequate molding of the plastic material. This is why we relied on MPT Plastica.

“And we were right: already the first printout, which they considered not good enough, worked better than the product we had used up to that point. Right from the start, a very clear relationship was established with Stefano and Fabio Taviani – technical-commercial manager and general manager of MPT respectively – of mutual understanding and active participation in the development of an effective and efficient solution. From the very first day we started collaborating on the redesign of the pump and, once the objectives to be achieved and the constraints to be respected had been defined, we entrusted them with the design of the details that would allow the body of our product to reach optimal quality levels, which on a of concepts we had created with Creo”.

R&D Department of Groeneveld-BEKA by Timken


During their use, these lubrication systems are subjected to harsh conditions: pressure, vibrations, corrosion risks, intensive use. For this reason it is necessary to subject the products to multiple tightness and resistance tests, including the vibration test. In the previous model, problems often occurred, especially with tanks with a capacity exceeding 4 kg: the pumps showed grease leaks and some even broke.

Starting from a ‘deep’ Moldflow analysis, which studied the filling phases to predict any distortion problems of the pieces and prevent them in the design phase, the MPT Plastica technical office rethought and redesigned the pump in terms of dimensions, flatness, thicknesses.

I casi risolti di MPT Plastica Sistema di lubrificazione

In particular, the designers analyzed the thicknesses of the object point by point, reducing them where possible thanks to an appropriate redesign, but leaving sufficient material in the most critical areas.

The previous model included co-molded inserts for the assembly of components which affected the seal of the product. Thus in the new project the inserts have been eliminated and replaced by self-tapping screws applied post-molding, simplifying the creation of molds and pieces and reducing production costs.

Since the first vibration test on the pump redesigned and printed by MPT Plastica, the results have been excellent: even using a 6 kg tank of lubricant, the pump not only did not break, but did not lose even a drop of grease.


The key to the new project developed by MPT Plastica is the elimination of inserts, so the mold can work automatically. This solution generates a series of cascading advantages and benefits for the customer:

• considerably simplify the production of tools
improve the production of parts
contain product costs
• better operation and superior performance
• allows you to fill the tank with a greater quantity of grease (an aspect particularly appreciated by users who can thus add new lubricant less often).

“We found an efficiency of around €2 per piece, which multiplied by around 20,000 pumps per year is not a negligible saving. This has allowed us to reduce the price for the buyer despite the greater performance of the product and introduce further details of improvement, such as the lid now sealed by 7 screws, compared to the 4 used previously.”

R&D Department of Groeneveld-BEKA by Timken


Based on the Moldflow analysis, in the tool design we have foreseen two injection points; furthermore, no hot chambers were used but a hot nozzle.

The base of the mold is made up of a 1.1730 steel mold holder, while for the impressions we preferred to use 2738 hh steel, given the use of filled polyamide which could ruin the mold in the long run.

For the same reason, at the end of construction, we performed a laser hardening surface treatment on all the closures. The mold then includes a main movement necessary to create the thread on the piece and 4 carriages required by the geometry of the object for its extraction.

Particular attention was paid to the conditioning of the mold: already during the Moldflow analysis phase we carefully studied the layout of the cooling circuits, to ensure that all areas were adequately conditioned.

I casi risolti di MPT Plastica sistema di lubrificazione


The redesign of MPT Plastica has completely renewed this lubrication system, extending its life cycle by at least another 10 years. And it provided the inspiration for the creation of 2 product innovations that intercept market needs even better:

  • 6 kg transparent methacrylate tank to allow you to see the level of fat contained;
  • new pump that will contain 8 kg of grease (less frequent filling)

Even if the product is consolidated on the market, the process can always be made more efficient and long-lasting.

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