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Power by the Hour

ITW GSE's History

Our root stretch back almost 100 years. We have an in-depth knowledge of the GSE industry and know what we are talking about.

History in short

ITW refers to our parent company and GSE stands for what we are doing: namely supplying the aviation industry with the cleanest, most reliable and most cost efficient Ground Support Equipment systems.

Since 2018, we have sold our products under the ITW GSE brand name only. The name was a result of a brand consolidation process where the legacy brands of AXA Power, Hobart, Houchin, J&B Aviation and ITW GSE Military were merged.
The ITW GSE team consists of dedicated people whereas many have been with the company for many years thus ensuring a great know-how and expertise.

ITW GSE Company Profile


the itw gse brand journey

The milestones of ITW GSE and our legacy brands

The 21st century



ITW GSE 7400 140 kVA & 180 kVA eGPU

ITW GSE Intelligent Power Management
ITW GSE Power by the Hour
ITW GSE 2400, 270 VDC GPU

ITW GSE 7400 JetEx 28 VDC eGPU

ITW GSE becomes one single brand of all ground power units, pre-conditioned air units and accessories. All legacy brands are absorbed under this brand.

ITW GSE 7400 90 kVA eGPU


ITW GSE 4400 Diesel Powered GPU

Hobart, Houchin, AXA Power, J&B Aviation and ITW Military GSE merged under the ITW GSE umbrella of companies (Branding phase 1).
Trilectron was discontinued.
The ITW GSE 2400 Common Design Platform saw daylight

The first AXA Power PCA was produced
Trilectron’s Military product line became ITW Military GSE

The first AXA Power Coil was produced
Illinois Tool Works acquires Houchin

AXA Power Plug & Play Voltage Compensation System
Trilectron separated military business into separate company named ITW Military GSE
Primary business supporting F16 and F22 and the Navy

Illinois Tool works acquires J&B Aviation

Trilectron Industries merges into Hobart Brothers Company and becomes a division of Hobart Brothers Company

Illinois Tool Works creates the ITW GSE Ground Services division, which brings together Hobart Ground Power, AXA Power, Trilectron Industries and Air-a-Plane, and, finally, J&B Aviation.
Illinois Tool Works acquires AXA Power and Trilectron
Trilectron manufactured commercial and military aircraft gound support equipment and acquires Air-a-plane

The 20th century

Illinois Tool Works acquires Hobart

J&B Aviation was founded in California (Cables & Plugs, and PCA accessories)

The first AXA Power 400 Hz Solid State GPU produced and sold

The first Hobart 400 Hz Solid State GPU produced and sold to Al Italia Airlines, Continental Airlines and Piedmont Airlines

The first Point of Use PCAir unit “DXU” was manufactured by Air-A-Plane.  This was the basis of design for all current PCAir units in the market place today.

Trilectron begins specializing in military GSE

The first AXA Power 28 VDC GPU

Hobart Brothers sets up Hobart Ground Power after American Airlines asks the company to design a generator to start larger aircraft engines. Air-A-Plane was the first company to manufacture a PCAir unit for cooling aircraft (mobile and engine driven).

Foundation of Axel Åkerman, Odense Denmark (later AXA Power)

Houchin Aerospace was established in Kent, Ashford

Illinois Tool Works was founded in Glenview, IL, USA (conglomerate of industrial equipment)

History of the AXA Power Brand

History of AXA Power

History of the Hobart Brand

History of Hobart

History of the Houchin Brand

History of Houchin

History of the J&B Aviation Brand

History of J&B Aviation

History of the Trilectron Brand

History of Trilectron

ITW - Illinois Tool Works

ITW is the parent company of ITW GSE.

Founded in 1912, ITW (NYSE: ITW) is a global industrial company centered on a differentiated and proprietary business model.
The company’s seven industry-leading segments leverage the ITW Business Model to generate solid growth with best-in-class margins and returns in markets where highly innovative, customer-focused solutions are required.

ITW’s approximately 43,000 dedicated colleagues around the world thrive in our decentralized, entrepreneurial culture and work to position ITW as one of the world’s best-performing, highest-quality and most-respected industrial companies.

In 2021, the company had revenues of $14.5 billion, with roughly half coming from outside North America

Read more about Illinois Tool Works.

See the 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) here.

The leading supplier of Ground Power Units, Pre-Conditioned Air Units, Cables and Hoses

Check out our product range in the four boxes below: