Curt G. Joa, Inc. Supports Face Shield Project


Effort supports urgent need for PPE


Curt G. Joa, Inc., a global, custom-engineering design and machine-building company, invented an efficient headband design that supports the urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the coronavirus disease.  The work is part of a collective effort to provide PPE for the University Wisconsin Healthcare network and other medical personnel in need. The project, named Badger Shield, is a collaboration among several manufacturers and has resulted in an open source design for face shields.


JOA developed multiple headband designs for the shield and selected the one that gave the wearer maximum comfort with the tension to keep the shield in place. One of the developers Brenton Rabe, explained the approach, “Our goal was providing the required protection for our healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to keep our communities healthy. Many are working longer hours and therefore we wanted the final design to include as much comfort as possible to reduce fatigue.”


For the project, JOA converted equipment in the onsite R&D laboratory, where they have several test stands and a large inventory of other components. Jeff Fritz, development manager, explained the capabilities, “Our onsite lab mimics all the key production processes of a full machine and gives us the flexibility to test proprietary design solutions quickly.”

With their internal capabilities, JOA designed and produced the first batch of headbands in less than 20 hours from initial request, which helped the Badger Shield project create approximately 80,000 face shields. JOA will produce enough headbands for another 350,000 face shields.