The decrease of the bearing length in extrusion processes results in increasing of the material flow and offers, through this, the possibility for manipulation and optimization. This paper presents a simulation based optimization technique which uses this effect for optimizing the material flow in direct extrusion processes. Firstly, the method is used in a multi-extrusion process with equal pitch circle profiles, then in an extrusion process of an asymmetric profile. Furthermore, a composite extrusion process is analyzed where endless wires of high strength steel are embedded in a base material of aluminum. The insertion of reinforcement elements into the base material flow, especially within the small ratio between profile thickness and the reinforcement diameter, can lead to significant local disturbances inside the die, which result in undesirable profile defects. Hence, the simulation-based optimization method is especially used to optimize inhomogeneous wall thicknesses in composite profiles.