Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) is in the final stage of commissioning a Universal Filling Facility for a client in North Africa. The facility will have the capability of filling a variety of munition products, including medium and large calibre ammunition through to aircraft bombs.
“We have worked with this client over the last four years to bring this world class manufacturing capability to reality”, said RDM CEO Norbert Schulze.
RDM plans to place, secure, and connect all outstanding equipment for the filling, assembly and packing facility in the next weeks and has a team of engineering experts and artisans on site. After this, the team will embark on an engineering commissioning period to test and de-bug each of the different equipment modules to ensure proper operation. Once successfully achieved, the system will be placed through process commissioning to confirm that everything works as advertised.
Personnel from the customer are in attendance throughout the engineering and process commissioning phases, RDM said.
“RDM provides on-the-job training to the client in terms of the operation of the plant, maintenance thereof, fault finding and corrective actions required. It is imperative that once RDM hands over such a facility, the client is trained and competent to continue with production of quality products in a safe environment,” Schulze said.
RDM aims to conduct the factory acceptance tests and pilot runs in the fourth quarter of 2017.
RDM will also manufacture the first pilot lot together with the client to ensure all requirements have been met. These samples will be subjected to dynamic testing with the end user.
RDM said that after the plant is completed, the customer will be self-sufficient in certain ammunition production, using the latest filling technology for loading, assembling, packing and testing of a variety of ammunition types.
“This Greenfields project was designed, manufactured and fully tested at RDM facilities in South Africa prior to dispatch,” Schulze said. “It is one of 39 similar facilities RDM has produced worldwide. This plant engineering competence within RDM has provided customers on all major continents with a turnkey solution in their quest for autonomy”.
In addition to producing a wide variety of ammunition such as the 105 and 155 mm artillery shells, 60, 81 and 120 mm mortars, 40 x 51 mm grenades and 76/62 mm shells and mine breaching systems, RDM also builds two to three ammunition filling plants a year for export.
Saudi Arabia is a recent filling plant customer and its Military Industries Corporation last year opened the munitions factory built in conjunction with RDM. The ammunition factory was recently handed over to the customer.