Mass. manufacturer sees budget cuts as potential opportunity

While the federal “sequester’’ budget cuts, which begin taking effect Thursday at midnight, will mean belt-tightening and staff cuts at many companies, Southborough-based manufacturer Device Technologies may actually benefit from the austerity measures.

“We actually think that there is more upside than downside because we’re small enough now that the modest impact it will have across our programs will be just that – modest,” said Device Technologies President Nicholas Petri. “The upside is that because everyone will be looking at a smaller piece of the pie, they may try to look at doing things differently. Our hope is that we’ll get some consideration that we would not have otherwise gotten.”

Device Technologies manufactures a line of wire protection and cable management products. According to Petri, the company developed a technology in the 1980s for specialty fastening that allowed for faster installation than what existed on the market previously. The company has 17 full- and part-time employees. Their customer base includes Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems as well as with a number of medical companies such as Siemens and GE. They also sell to food service equipment companies, telecommunication companies, and energy companies.

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Petri does expect to lose business if the sequester cuts are fully enacted.

“We have a specification for the F35 for our material, and that may just go away or, if it doesn’t go away, the requirement for our materials will be reduced, he said. “When you take that across the many programs that we are involved with – whether it’s an airplane, a Humvee, or some other kind of electronic system, they will all be using less material and as a result, we’ll be manufacturing less for that industry segment.”

He, however, sees a potential for his company to profit from the across-the-board belt-tightening as well.

“Some of these prime contractors will be looking at new ways to do their wiring protection and in that we represent and advantage as we can take installed cost out of their design,” Petri said. “There’s a reasonable chance that the design paradigm could be reviewed and that could end up with some major contractors using more of our product.”