A circular flat plate with a perforated central region is to be formed by dies into a dome and then welded onto a cylindrical shell. After welding, the dome must be spherical within a narrow tolerance band. This plate forming and welding is simulated using large deflection theory elastic-plastic finite element analysis. The manufacturing assessment is performed so that the dies may be designed to compensate for plate distortions that occur during various stages of manufacturing, including the effects of weld distortion. The manufacturing simulation benchmarks against measurements taken at several manufacturing stages from existing hardware. The manufacturing simulation process can then be used for future applications of similar geometries.

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