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LINEAR MOTION LLC: Retaining DOD Contracts By Reaching CMMC Cyber Requirements


Linear Motion LLC, doing business as Thompson Aerospace & Defense, is a division of Umbragroup S.p.A. which produces ball screws, high precision mechanical and mechatronic components for the aerospace market, critical for flight. In 1936 the company, then a division of General Motors, pioneered recirculating ball screws for use in automotive power steering systems. In the early 1940s, Linear Motion achieved another historical milestone after successfully developing the world’s first recirculating aircraft ball screw product, which was utilized on the legendary B-29 “Superfortress,” the aircraft that changed the global geopolitical balance. Today, Linear Motion has annual revenues of $40,000,000 and 170 employees at their Saginaw, Michigan, location, with increasing opportunities to support new civil programs, greatly expand into the defense sectors, and to provide aerospace ball screws, actuators, and electromechanical systems.

The Challenge

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently put forth new requirements for all individuals and subcontractors in the DOD supply chain to achieve Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). This requirement, which included contractors who interact exclusively with the DOD, aims to normalize and standardize cybersecurity preparedness across the federal government’s defense industrial base. Since about 80% of Linear Motion's work is for the DOD, it was imperative that Linear Motion follow the requirements and get their cybersecurity requirements up to par with the DOD by reaching CMMC Level 3.
The successful implementation of this project is paramount to the core business of Linear Motion to continue to thrive in the aerospace market. We are committed to meeting all DOD regulations and are thankful to The Center for the guidance through that process.
— Joe Sheridan, IT Director

MEP's Role

Linear Motion reached out to the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center’s Northeast Office (The Center – NE), part of the Michigan MEP and the MEP National Network™, to conduct a cybersecurity assessment of its requirements to comply with the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and implementation of NIST 800-171. Once that was completed, a plan of action with milestones was presented. The Center then conducted several days of mentoring to help Linear Motion satisfy the necessary requirements to successfully reach CMMC Level 3.
Created January 14, 2022, Updated April 28, 2023