24 Jan 2022

William Smith produces translucent sign faces for M80 gantries project

William Smith Tegrel M80

William Smith has been appointed by Tegrel Limited - a designer and manufacturer of bespoke steel enclosures - to produce translucent sign faces for insertion into LED rear illuminated box signs, for installation to gantries supplied by Donyal Engineering, on the new-build M80 Glasgow Southern Orbital motorway.

The 16 sign faces, manufactured from 3M Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting, ranged from 3m up to 7m wide x approx. 1.8m tall - each one produced as a single piece.

“We like to use consistent suppliers and materials to ensure traceability,” explains Tegrel’s Richard Leech. “We, therefore chose William Smith for this project, based on our long-term working relationship... and 3M materials are the best on the market as they carry all required certification.”

New slimline LED lit boxes produced by Tegrel were manufactured for this project, with a specially designed printed circuit board incorporating LEDs and an optical enhancement device to scatter light in a required pattern. This meant that a slimmer sign box could be manufactured at 100mm deep, instead of the 500mm previously required. Glasgow’s previous rear-illuminated signs were large structures using 400 watt halogen lamps. For this project a low energy LED solution was agreed, which would result in reduction in maintenance for the gantry signs as well as energy savings.

“LED lasts around five years, whereas halogen lamps require changing every four months,” comments Mr Leech.

Careful planning and quality testing was integral to the project. The sub-face, to which the 3M Diamond Grade material is applied, is manufactured from single polycarbonate and prior to production adhesion tests were carried out by 3M.

“Because of the physical size of the sign faces, we sat down at length with William Smith to discuss the methodology of applying the 3M vinyl,” says Richard Leech. “Production was a mammoth task and William Smith also did all the cutting to size. Delivery and quality were important aspects of this project and William Smith fully met these.”

Mr Leech adds, “We enjoy a very good working relationship with William Smith. They are highly conscientious while providing a friendly service.”