MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota-based 3M says it’s partnering with Ford Motor Company to make protective equipment for those on the front lines of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a joint statement Tuesday, 3M says it’s working with the automaker to produce air-purifying respirators, using a combination of 3M and Ford parts. The respirators are being made at Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in Michigan.

3M CEO Mike Roman said the Maplewood-based company is exploring all opportunities to expand its capacity and get health care supplies where they are needed as quickly as possible.

“It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership,” Roman said.

Ford is also working with GE Healthcare to expand the production of ventilators and with the UAW union to produce facemasks.

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