Celebrating 90 Years of Innovation

Curt G. Joa, Inc. is celebrating its 90th year in business. Through our stakeholders, customers, employees, and community, we have accomplished great things over the past 90 years. We are proud of the technologies and innovations we have brought to the industry. From 1932 when the first machine was commissioned to today when we are excited to focus on our new innovations including our prized ESC-8.

To all of those who have been a part of these incredible accomplishments, thank you! Here’s to the next 90 years!


The JOA East Asia office announced as JOA’s newest Asian branch.


Infinity Roll nominated as one of the best new equipment innovations of 2019 at the IDEA® Achievement Awards.


Rick Michaletz announced as new company president, as former president Gene Kiela II officially moves into role as chairman of the board.

The JOA European Technology Team announced as JOA’s newest European branch.


JOA celebrates 85 years of delivering custom, high-speed solutions to the disposable hygiene industry.


The J7I-AP adult pant machine debuts, enabling JOA to serve customers in new markets throughout the world.


JOA purchases the remaining Bikoma shares, officially making it a “JOA Company” to enable faster response times and local support throughout the world.


The J8T-B high-speed diaper machine platform is developed.


Andernach, Germany office closed.

New partnership announced with German manufacturer, Bikoma.


The J8 machine platform is developed.

Curt Joa is inducted into the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame as a Founder/Research and Development/Entrepreneur.


A more defined and dedicated R&D team was put into place to keep the company on the cutting edge of technology and enhance custom machinery designs for special products.


Added computerized water-jet cutting technology to the fabrication and machining facility to provide quick and efficient parts turnaround.

Introduced the J20 line of machines for high-speed, high-efficiency production of light incontinence and feminine hygiene products.


Added 69,000 square feet of assembly and testing space for larger and secure machine-testing bays.


Opened a new European office located in Andernach, Germany.


The J4-MV was created to provide a performance value and technology bridge between the existing J4-S servo and the J4-M mechanical platforms.

JOA consolidated, and the plant in Boynton Beach, FL closed.


Our first adult protective underwear machine capable of producing disposable, elasticized adult-incontinence underwear was developed and successfully tested.

In November, Mr. Joa passed away, and his wife passed shortly after. In their estate planning, the secession and independence of the company was secured through the establishment of a family trust that holds all company shares.


Expanded machining and fabrication facilities by 45,000 square feet (4,200 square meters), providing space for numerous CNC machining center additions. This addition facilitated the company’s ability to manufacture and fabricate custom components quickly and more efficiently.


A 32,000+ square foot, off-site facility with all necessary capabilities for the design, development and testing of highly confidential projects was constructed.


One of this decade’s challenges was to design machines with built-in process flexibility to keep up with rapidly evolving product designs. Engineering developed new process requirements while applying new technology to existing machines as retrofits. Many upgrade kits for diaper and napkin machinery were designed.


80,000 square feet (7,400 square meters) added to the main plant.


Added an 83,000 square foot (7700 square meters) assembly and testing facility with secure, fully-equipped testing bays to the main plant.


The company responded to production demand in the baby diaper industry with the J5 electronic line shaft machine, capable of 500 products per minute.

The SN500 sanitary napkin line offered production rates up to 650 products per minute. The Model FWS500 served as a universal upgrade to fold, wrap and stack all designs of feminine care products.

The first adult incontinence products machinery was developed for fully-contoured, elasticized diapers in three sizes.


Received the “E” Star Award for Exports for continuing to export over 50 percent of its machinery sales.


Throughout the 70s, sales expanded to six continents. Raw materials advancements also led to product design sophistication. Introduction of tape closures and leg elastics for diapers and poly inserts, and peel strips for napkins, spawned the Model 85E and SN300 machines. As the wingfold adult diaper market developed, specialized machinery also developed for these products.


Developed the Model 83 Wingfold Baby Diaper Machine. The development of pressure sensitive hot melt adhesives was of landmark importance in the evolution of these products and machines.


Received the “E” Award for Excellence in Exports from the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Mr. Joa relocated the Florida division of the company to a new site in Boynton Beach.


Creation of our first baby diaper machine, the Model 300 Insert Diaper Machine.


Mr. Joa introduced a profit-sharing plan to his employees with this opening statement: “There is always room here for an ambitious employee who has the spirit, talent and a conscience to contribute his share without constant supervision.”


Construction began for the new 18,000 square feet building at the current Sheboygan Falls site.


Mr. Joa sold the Jenkins portion of his business to Karl Kohler, creating the Kohler-Joa company. Mr. Joa still held interest in the company, but he wanted to focus on other ideas.


Opened a plant in Ft. Pierce, Florida. It later moved to Lake Wales where it was located until 1965.


In the 50s, JOA introduced its first production machine, the dual lane Model 400J Sanitary Napkin Machine. Features included a fluff-filled pad, a non-woven overwrap, a poly-bead longitudinal seam, automatic stacking and cartoning and a guaranteed production rate of 400 napkins per minute.


Mr. Joa merged his two companies together, ultimately employing nearly 280 workers.

The company supported the war effort by producing various parts for the U.S. Navy.

Improvements made to the sanitary napkin machine, including patented pin discs for pulp fiberization and a proprietary finger chain stacker.


Mr. Joa and his family moved to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin where he continued to build machinery. He also acquired a failing woodworking company by the name of The Jenkins Co.


First patent received for an end-fold mechanism for sanitary napkins.


Mr. Joa established an engineering-consulting company bearing his name and applied for his first patent.


Curt G. Joa designed the first automated process to produce sanitary napkins. After demonstrating a working model, he was commissioned to make the first machine on October 8, 1931.

Did you know?

In 1961 was the introduction of JOA’s profit-sharing plan for employees? We continue this today!

90 Years of Accomplishments

2020 Economic Driver Award

Awarded by Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.

“E” Award

Excellence in Exports from the U.S. Department of Commerce

“E” Star award

Exports for continuing to export over 50% of it's machinery sales.

The History of Curt G. Joa, Inc.

Established during the Great Depression, JOA is no stranger to overcoming the toughest challenges. In 1932, our founder Curt G. Joa applied for his first patent, which introduced automation to the world of disposable hygiene product manufacturing. His groundbreaking invention led to the creation of the first feminine sanitary napkin machine, and set the standard for industry excellence. Decade after decade, that spirit of innovation has carried the company to new heights. For nearly 90 years, we’ve made a tradition of innovation, continually improving production processes for customers in ever-changing markets worldwide.

Curt G. Joa valued building long-term relationships above all, knowing our success starts with yours. Today, in our third generation of family ownership, JOA continues its heritage of treating customers like family—we collaborate closely, share exciting ideas, and travel thousands of miles day or night when our help is needed. It’s why customers continually trust us for all their converting technology needs.

Meet the Family that Started it All

Man Raising His Hat in the Air