In this study, a new methodology for bead optimization of sheet metal is presented. The objective of the optimization strategy is to design automatically a beaded sheet metal which is both optimal for stiffness and manufacturing. In this context, an optimization module called ManuBeadOpt (Manufacturing based Bead Optimization) is developed, combining a simulation based bead optimization with an inverse forming simulation. The forming limit as a result of ManuBeadOpt can be increased with an additionally shape optimization. This optimization strategy makes an important contribution in reducing product development cycles and in increasing the quality of beaded sheet metal components. To illustrate the iterative procedure an application example is shown enabling new knowledge of manufacturing constraints and achievable bead structures.