History of Ajax Metal Forming Solutions

The company now known as Ajax Metal Forming Solutions was founded in 1945 by Swedish immigrant and inventor Erick Julius Ajax. Erick was a skilled machinist with an entreprenurial spirit who received several U.S. patents for his product ideas.

Following his retirement, Erick’s two sons, Bud and Warren, operated the company as E.J. Ajax & Sons through several stages of growth until 1982, when the company was purchased by Erick’s youngest son, Sheldon, and his wife Barbera.

Working out of a 6,000 square foot plant in south Fridley, Minnesota, Sheldon and Barbera continued to grow the company.  Sheldon and Barbera’s sons Erick and Tom joined the firm in the early 80’s and learned the business, advancing through various positions in production, purchasing, human resources, and customer account management.

The firm relocated to its current location in 1988, leasing 12,000 square feet of manufacturing space containing two production bays.  Business continued to flourish throughout the 90s, requiring expansion into a third bay and bringing production space to 18,000 square feet.  Finally, the company bought the entire building.

Sheldon and Barbera retired in 1997 and sold the business to Tom and Erick. Together, these two grandsons of the founder embarked on a growth plan that included the acquisition of a 2nd location, more state-of-the-art machinery, and workforce development initiatives that paved the way for year-upon-year of revenue and profit growth.

Erick Ajax retired in 2017 and Tom Ajax in 2018, having together built an impressive legacy of business acumen, bold innovation, and outstanding corporate citizenship.

Swedish immigrant Erick Julius Ajax founded what is now known as Ajax Metal Forming Solutions in 1945.

Equity Investment

In the fall of 2017, Heartland Equity Partners of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota acquired a majority ownership position in E.J. Ajax and Sons, Inc. and changed the name of the company to Ajax Metal Forming Solutions.  Erick and Tom Ajax continue as equity owners and have joined the board of directors. 

Don Wellman, vice president of sales and marketing, also expanded his ownership position and provides leadership for the growing customer relationship team at Ajax. All other production and office staff remain with the company.

Heartland is an investment fund focused on growth, good stewardship, and honoring the legacy of previous owners by preserving their values and creating good jobs in Midwestern communities.

The Ajax Pledge

At Ajax, we’re committed to maintaining our reputation as Minnesota’s premier supplier of metal fabrication and stamping services. We pledge to meet or exceed expectations by:


  • Continuing to be an ethically and socially responsible business.
  • Working safely without a single lost-time injury.
  • Maintaining and developing partnerships that enhance mutual success.
  • Delivering every part on time and to print.
  • Providing many opportunities for personal growth and achievement.
  • Being the highest trained/educated and diverse team in the industry.
  • Fairly compensating each team member based on job-related skills.
  • Embracing and conforming to all environmental and governmental regulations.