Ford Motor Co. is teaming with major medical equipment manufacturers, including the 3M Co. and GE Healthcare, to boost their production and to make face shields and 3-D print respirators.

Concerns over a shortage of ventilators, personal protective equipment for health-care workers and more led President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act, opening the way for the government to call on private business to help. Automakers, including Ford, General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, have shared their intentions to do so.

“This is such a critical time for America and the world," Bill Ford, Ford's executive chairman, said in a statement. "It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis. At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

Ford will leverage its manufacturing and engineering expertise to assist 3M and GE Healthcare in increasing manufacturing capacity for air-purifying respirators and ventilators respectively. The Dearborn automaker also will help to create a simpler version that may be able to be created in Ford facilities.

“We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19,” GE Healthcare CEO Kieran Murphy said in a statement. “We are proud to bring our clinical and technical expertise to this collaboration with Ford, working together to serve unprecedented demand for this life-saving technology and urgently support customers as they meet patient needs.”

Added Mike Roman, 3M chairman and CEO, in a statement: "It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease."

Meanwhile, Ford is testing 1,000 face shields at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospitals. It plans to complete roughly 75,000 of these shields this week and produce more than 1000,000 per week at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing in Plymouth. It is working with the United Auto Workers to do so, the company said.

And 3-D printers at the automaker's Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford will print disposable respirators. Once approved by federal regulators, Ford intends to produce 1,000 respirators per month and grow that production as fast as possible.

Ford also is evaluating a separate effort not involving GE Healthcare with the U.K. government to produce additional ventilators.

GM on Monday said it was looking at the feasibility of making ventilators at its Kokomo Operations in Indiana. It is assisting Washington-based Ventec Life Systems to ramp up production, and its suppliers who have been tapped in the effort say the collaboration is looking to produce up to 200,000 ventilators.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV also intends to make fask masks at a plant in China for first responders and health-care workers in North America in addition to assisting Siare Engineering Italian Group increase ventilator production in Italy.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble