Three of the nation’s largest companies will team up to mass produce medical equipment to fight the novel coronavirus, repurposing existing parts and hundreds of workers in a wartime-like battle against the outbreak that has kneecapped the global economy and brought much of the country to a standstill.Ford sent teams of engineers this week to consult with counterparts at 3M and General Electric to ramp up production of 3M respirators, GE ventilators and new 3-D-printed face shields, the companies announced Tuesday. The products are needed desperately by health care workers and covid-19 patients as cases multiply across the country.Equipment shortages have left many medical professionals working with substandard protective gear, raising concerns that doctors will be forced to ration care and potentially lifesaving technologies as cases surge.Businesses large and small have recalibrated as the public health and economic crises have raged, moving outside their lanes to produce new products or partner with other businesses to fill supply chain and product holes. And though corporate partnerships can concentrate expertise to solve some problems, many of these efforts are nascent — commercial metamorphoses that require different production and supply chain mechanisms, and skilled workers.In the Ford collaboration, for instance, the first ventilators


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