A match made in design: Collaboration joins signs and sockets

Dominic Browne

Buchanan Computing and NAL Ltd have collaborated to add a leading system of retention sockets to what is thought to be the UK’s most popular sign design software.

SignPlot and SignLoad Professional from Buchanan now allow sign foundations to be designed and specified incorporating NAL's sockets.

The new software enables the correct model of socket to be selected and illustrated on the screen and printout, including ‘duckfoot’ versions with a cable entry.

It also provides foundation dimensions in accordance with NAL recommendations and the necessary standards and shows the total length of each support, taking account of the portion inserted into the socket.

Simon Morgan, chairman of Buchanan Computing and original author of the software, commented: 'We were delighted to work closely with NAL Ltd on this development. This enhancement will be highly beneficial to all highway and traffic engineers to facilitate the increasingly frequent requirement for socket-mounted sign supports, and we are happy to recommend the extensive and dependable range from NAL for this purpose.'

Ben Parsons, GB Sales Manager at NAL, said: 'Our technical business development managers are really excited about this news. They spend a lot of time working with designers and consultants, demonstrating the benefits in terms of installation and future maintenance when utilising our Retention Socket System.

'However, clients were often left frustrated when unable to design the solution easily, creating extra work for all. Whilst keeping all their software users at the forefront, Buchanan and in particular Simon, have been fantastic in supporting us through this process and we look forward to working with them in the future.'

NAL Ltd is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of infrastructure products. Its retention socket system is a patented range of fittings developed to secure all types of illuminated and non-illuminated street furniture enabling a quick installation and removal with a key and a spanner.

All retention sockets are manufactured with a cast steel or ductile iron top section and a range of base types to suit all applications.

SignLoad Professional is a stand-alone design package for traffic signs to EN 12899, covering the design of the sign face, supports and foundations and includes checks for passive safety to EN 12767.

The design platform is used throughout Europe and is available in Norwegian as well as English.

For UK users, it is also an integral part of SignPlot, the leading sign face design package that automates most aspects of Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) and the Traffic Signs Manual, to ensure correct design.

SignLoad Professional 3.66 is now ready to be downloaded by those with current support contracts, while SignLoad Designer and the Sign Illumination Tool are available free of charge to anyone.

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