The NAAMS programs grew out of two A/SP initiatives that were begun in 1991.   The Stamping Cost Reduction Group was chartered to address cost reduction for stamping die components; the Assembly Cost Reduction Group was chartered to address cost reduction for the components in the tools used to fabricate sheet steel bodies-in-white, front-end sheet steel and closures.   Several years later the names of these initiatives were changed to Stamping Tooling Standardization and Assembly Tooling Standardization to reflect more accurately that they proposed to reduce cost without compromising quality or performance through standardization.

The advantages of standardizing tooling components among the North American based auto companies was recognized by all participants: reduction in the time and cost required to design and build tools.   In addition to standardization, the participating companies agreed that all dimensions should be in the metric system rather than the U. S. Customary, or inch based system, because the participating companies were converting to metric.

The joint efforts by companies who are competitors in the market place have been conducted within the same framework as cooperative efforts in other industries such as the Pork Council (the other white meat) and the Incredible Edible Egg, which were receiving high-level publicity at the time that the NAAMS initiatives were starting.   Compliance with anti-trust restrictions of the federal government is ensured by:

The Stamping initiative adopted the name North American Automotive Metric Standards and used the acronym NAAMS.   Participants have included representatives from Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and suppliers such as Danly IEM, Dayton Progress, Lamina, Dadco, and Sankyo Oiless Industry USA.   The Team was chaired from its inception until March, 2002 by Douglas James of Dayton Progress.   Upon Doug's retirement from Dayton, Gary Amin of Ford became chairman.

The Stamping standards were first published in book form on behalf of the A/SP by the Auto Industry Action Group (AIAG) in January, 1995 under the title North American Automotive Metric Standards - Forming & Stamping and were sold for approximately $25.00 per copy.   All proceeds went to AIAG to cover their costs of printing and distribution.   The Assembly Standards were first published in book form by AIAG in March, 1996 under the title North American Automotive Metric Standards - Assembly & Fabrication and were sold for the same price with all proceeds going to AIAG.

The original intent for both sets of standards was to publish quarterly supplements with a complete reprint every one or two years.   However, new standards were being developed and existing standards updated so rapidly that conventional printing and distribution were not adequate.   Therefore, in 1997 the standards were placed on the A/SP website under the names NAAMS Stamping Standards and NAAMS Assembly Standards.   The website facilitates making changes as needed and makes the standards available free of charge to anyone who wants them.

The standards immediately gained wide acceptance in North America, but the auto companies reported resistance in Europe due to the words North American in the title.   The names were subsequently changed to NAAMS Global Standard Components - Stamping and NAAMS Global Standard Components - Assembly and the logos were changed accordingly.   The new titles eliminated the North American association and retained the widely recognized NAAMS acronym.

Several innovations have been added to the website to make the standards more user friendly.

The Chrysler, Ford and GM members of the NAAMS Teams report that their companies are specifying strict adherence to NAAMS standards in many applications.   In some cases they are referring to NAAMS rather than issuing their own company standards.

Savings in the cost and time to build tools has become hard to document because NAAMS has become a way of life in the auto industry.   The major benefit of the NAAMS Stamping initiative is a significant reduction in design time.   The design team is no longer concerned with which company will supply the air cylinders, guides, gages, nitrogen springs, etc.   They design to NAAMS standards realizing that products from any complying supplier can be installed.   Equally important, the plants do not need to carry as large an inventory of replacement parts because of interchangeability among complying suppliers.

The assembly side realizes significant reductions in both the cost and time required to design and build assembly tools.   Dollar values and days required are difficult to document because NAAMS is an established way of life and there is nothing to compare with.   For example, strict adherence to standardized stock lists for construction steel and aluminum shapes ensures that tools are built from a minimum cost inventory.   More important, design sources have a library of the NAAMS components used by the body manufacturer, and have largely automated the design process.   As with stamping dies, the design team is no longer concerned with which company will supply the locating pins, retractable pin packages, power clamps, risers, locators, switches, etc.; they design to NAAMS standards knowing that a variety of cost-competitive suppliers can supply.   Many components are produced in quantities instead of being special ordered and are available off-the-shelf, yielding significant reductions in build time and cost.   In-plant replacement inventories are likewise reduced.   Typical estimates for NAAMS savings are "Design and build in less time than it used to take to design", "Upwards of $30,000,000 per program" and "Essential to our corporate reduced-time-to-market objectives".

The foregoing is a brief summary of how the NAAMS Stamping and Assembly Standards are making a major contribution in reducing the cost and time required to bring vehicles produced by Chrysler, Ford and GM to the marketplace.   At the same time, they are helping to keep steel the material of choice in automotive bodies-in-white, closures and front end sheet metal.