Layout of human machine interface (HMI) plays a very important role in the information transmission between the complex operating and monitoring system and operators. HMI layout of main control room can obviously affect the safety and efficiency of power plant. The unreasonable layout of HMI may influence operators’ judgment and operation under emergency condition, resulting in huge accidents. But up until now, it is difficult to make a all-sided and reasonable layout method for the components of HMI in main control room. For many factors can influence the layout result of HMI, such as importance and usage frequency of each component, which would be changed along with the operation procedure and condition. In this paper, six layout principles of ergonomics are used in the layout process of a computer-aided layout method. Optimizing function is constructed and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used in calculation the components weight in layout process. Then, genetic algorithm is used to optimize the layout method. In order to illustrate how the computer-aided layout method is conducted, an example of HMI layout of a power plant is provided.

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