2013 marks 75th anniversary of PMP, Africa`s largest ammunition manufacturer

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For decades, Pretoria Metal Pressings (or PMP as it is known all over the
world) has been synonymous with world-class ammunition.


The roots of PMP go back to 1934, when the first experiments to manufacture
ammunition started as part of the old Royal Mint, in Pretoria. Production
started in 1938, thus more than 74 years ago, from a facility situated on the
corner of Potgieter and Visagie Streets. During the Second World War, over 45%
of the .303 rounds used by the Allied Forces came from South Africa. That was a
staggering 768 million rounds!


In the 1960s, the company moved to a new site in the industrial area of
Pretoria West. A Brass Foundry and Rolling Mill was added to the plant in the
1970s. Today, up to 80 tons of high-quality brass strip is produced per working
day. Part is sold to the commercial market in South Africa, and the rest is used
in the manufacturing of ammunition.


As a result of the Border War, in Namibia, the huge demand for military
ammunition necessitated the building of a more modern manufacturing facility.
Work started in the late 1970s on a 400-hectare site on the farmElandsfontein to
the west of Pretoria. This was completed in the mid-80s, and all activities of
PMP (except the Foundry and Rolling Plant) moved to Elandsfontein.


In addition to military small calibre ammunition and high
performing hunting rounds (Standard, PROAMM, Super ranges, African Elite and the
Kalahari Elite), PMP also manufactures high-quality medium calibre ammunition
(from 20mm – 35mm) used in helicopters, fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft
cannons, as well as infantry fighting vehicles.


Its 30mm ADEN round, for use in the BAE Systems Hawk fighter-trainer
aircraft, is recognised as world-class. The soft steel driving band incorporated
in the design ensures much cleaner barrels than those of competitors` products.
Recently, the company completed the development of the 30mm x 173mm round for
use in the new generation of Infantry Fighting Vehicles. It also finalised the
development of the 20mm x 42mm round for use in the NEOPUP personal area weapon,
an ideal weapon system usable in the fight against piracy.


The company is a major supplier of the South African Defence Force, South
African Police, BAE Systems and numerous export countries. Its annual turnover
is R600 million, of which 40% is exported, making the company an important
earner of foreign exchange.


In 2011, the company expanded its capacity by 150% to produce primary
explosives to more than five tons per month. A state-of-the-art new production
facility was completed at the cost of R10 million. PMP produces drill-bits for
the mining industry, and is also a licensed Martin Baker producer of escape
systems (rocket motors and power cartridges) for fighter aircraft and
helicopters.


PMP is the proud holder of the ISO 9001 certification for quality, ISO 14001
for high environmental standards and OSHAS 18001 for safety. Its Lost Time
Injury Frequency Ratio is below 0.15, which puts the company among the top 5% of
`safe` companies in the world.