Rheinmetall Denel Munition commissions universal filling plant


Local defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition is in the final stage of completing the commission of a universal filling facility for an international client. This facility will have the capability of filling a variety of munition products that include 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,” commented RDM CEO Norbert Schulze.

Driven by a team of engineering experts and artisans from RDM presently on site, the installation of activities is in full momentum. The aim is to place, secure and connect all outstanding equipment for the filling, assembly and packing facility in the next weeks. Subsequent to this, the team will embark on an engineering commissioning period to test and de-bug each of the different equipment modules in isolation to ensure proper operation. Once successfully achieved, the system will be placed through process commissioning to confirm that all interrelated interfaces operate in accordance with the set specifications and standards and fully comply with the agreed system performance.

Throughout the engineering and process commissioning phases, the client’s staff are in attendance. Schulze emphasised: “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.”

RDM aims to conduct the factory acceptance tests and pilot runs in the fourth quarter of 2017, ensuring the system is balanced, set parameters have been achieved, and all quality requirements have been met.

RDM will also manufacture the first pilot lot together with the client to prove user requirements have been met. These samples are subjected to dynamic testing with the end-user.

On successful completion of the proofing, the client will be in a position of self-sufficiency, boasting 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 remarked. “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.”