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Case Study

Viking Yacht Company
  • One of the largest yacht building companies in the world
  • Manufacturing facilities spans more than 550,000 square feet of floor space
  • Over 1200 employees
A Viking Yacht
A Viking Yacht

Situation    The Situation    Keri Solution    Results   

Site Description

Bill and Bob Healey, brothers, established the Viking Yacht Company in 1963. With an engineering mission to build the best boat possible that is fast, safe, luxuriously outfitted and with master sea-keeping abilities, Viking Yacht has become one of the largest, if not the largest, yacht building companies in the world. Located in New Gretna, New Jersey, Viking's manufacturing facilities spans more than 550,000 square feet of floor space. Employment at the plant has swelled to over 1200 employees. Their new service center located in Riviera Beach, Florida employs another 100 people.

Innovative designs, new marine engineering advances have earned the brothers numerous awards for outstanding contributions to the sport of boating. Having built more than 4000 yachts over the past four decades, Viking Yacht has recently undergone over $10 million worth of plant improvements and machinery upgrades, further enhancing their position as an innovative leader in the boating industry.

The Situation

The large New Gretna facility consists of five buildings with a total of 23 perimeter doors. Craftsmen who have the freedom of access to the facility used three of these doors. Using mechanical keys to control the doors proved to be a colossal problem. Allowing dedicated craftsmen freedom of movement meant issuing individuals their own keys to the facility. Key management and maintaining security is a difficult task at best. Every time a key was lost it was necessary to re-key the doors. Re-keying doors is an expensive proposition and does not guarantee security; keys can be copied. There had to be a solution to this problem that would allow the company to provide key employees freedom to access the facility while maintaining a high level of security.

Controlling the shop overhead doors was another objective the security system had to address. The doors could be opened by anyone and were often left open causing a security and heating problem. The security system installed had to secure the overhead doors and provide a comprehensive record of activity. It was also required that management of the system would have minimal effect on administrative costs.

The Keri Solution

It was decided that the installation of card access security system would satisfy Viking Yacht Company's security and management objectives. The access control system selected was the Keri Systems' PXL-250 Tiger Controller with proximity card reading technology.

The readers selected were Keri's MS series reader with a read range for a credit card shaped card of up to three to 15 inches, depending on the reader style used. Each card is encoded with a unique number that can only be read by the reader and is practically impossible to decipher. When an authorized card is passed within close proximity to the reader, the card's unique number is read and will cause the door to unlock allowing the card holder access. If the card is lost, or if there is a disgruntled employee problem, the card can be deleted or turned-off by the click of a computer mouse. The lock does not need to be re-keyed.

The act of using the card causes an access control event. The access control events include granting or denying access to an individual cardholder, automatic unlocking of a door, alarm conditions, door status conditions, etc. The Keri Doors software allows for the collection and storage of events. If a situation warrants investigation, the events can be retrieved and presented in an activity report. The tracking of an individual or the use activity of a door can be reported and examined. Knowing when a door was opened and by whom, has been effective in reducing heating costs and loses due to theft.

Doors and cards are programmed to operate at specific times. Time schedules are created for unlocking and re-locking doors for normal plant operation and scheduled holidays. Cardholders are assigned an 'access group'---a time schedule that restricts access to specific doors at specific times of the day. The Doors software can create and handle an extremely large number of access groups. Once programmed, the day to day operations of the system will run automatically, without the need of a computer, minimizing administration costs.

Because the system uses the proximity card technology, maintenance costs are minimized. There is no contact between the card and reader so usage does not cause wear. The readers have no slots to clean or to be clogged and both the cards and readers are very ruggedly constructed. So much so that the readers and cards are lifetime warranted against damage due to normal usage.


The Viking Yacht Company officials are very pleased with the system's performance. The Doors software screens are very clear and easy to understand. Self-explanatory graphics and descriptive Icons make traveling through the software very straightforward.

According to Dan Passarelli, facility supervisor, the original installation controlled access through three doors. The system has since grown to include 23 doors. The company recently bought a nearby marina facility and it is the company's intent to add Keri to the new facility.

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