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Wind Turbine Install Seaway 7, 5536, LiftLOK Quick Connector


In 2020, Balltec Engineered Solutions was approached by Seaway 7 to design, manufacture and test a quick connecting tool for a heavy lift vessel crane. The product had to withstand a Safe Working Load (SWL) of 2,200 mT, and interface with a 2,500 mT shackle. Supplied with the system were five common receptacles for use with an impact hammer and pile upending tool. Additionally, an integrated camera needed to be incorporated for remote viewing and information feedback. 

The subsequent LiftLOK Quick Connector produced has since been successfully deployed for multiple offshore wind farm projects.


Balltec created a unique design based on ball and groove technology, providing a compact and robust tool. This design allowed the connector to withstand the rigorous task of being connected to the impact hammer during the piling operations. The digital installation guidance system incorporated allows for remote viewing and operation using a camera, aiding installation and reducing the risk of errors. The connector was designed and certified in accordance with DNV ST-0378.


The manufacturing process adhered to strict quality control measures to ensure that the connector met the required standards and specifications. Balltec sourced materials complying with DNV grade NV F800A from European suppliers and machined them in the UK. The connector was assembled and tested at Balltec's facility in the UK utilising the in-house 4,000 mT test rig. 


The LiftLOK was deployed by Seaway 7 for the upending and installation of monopiles in the Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ) 1–4 Wind Farm, the largest offshore windfarm in the Netherlands and, at the time, the world. Over 140 installations have been carried out, highlighting its success and durability. The system's success has led to its redeployment for use on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project, currently the world's largest offshore wind farm.

Current usage

Due to the LiftLOK connector's success and reliability, multiple Tier 1 contractors have selected this system as a quick connection between heavy lift cranes and various types of equipment and hardware. The remote operation and digital installation guidance system have improved efficiency and reduced installation errors, ensuring the safe and effective deployment of offshore wind farms.


The LiftLOK quick connector designed, manufactured and tested by Balltec has proved to be a reliable and robust tool for the offshore wind industry. The use of ball and groove technology, digital installation guidance systems and compliance with industry standards has resulted in successful and efficient deployment of offshore wind farms. This success has led to deployment in multiple offshore wind farms; it is a reassuringly safe, valuable and cost-effective solution now recognised by multiple Tier 1 contractors.