BOM (Bill of Materials)
Your BOM must be in a spreadsheet format (Excel, Numbers, CSV, or OpenOffice) and contain the following information
The exact manufacturer's part number
The reference designators (locations) for those part numbers
What locations are not to be populated (these locations exist on the bare board but have no parts on them)
The quantity per part number
Your BOM can also contain the following information (not essential but useful)
A line item number per part number (useful for specifying any additional part numbers that are acceptable for those same reference designators)
A useful description for the part number
Your own internal part number
Once we have this information we will enter it into our MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) system and assign our own internal part numbers. Often times for components like surface mount resistors and capacitors, we will already have inventory of that exact same part number and will not need to order any new material for your order.
If you don't have a lot of experience putting together a bill of material (or honestly, even if you do have a lot of experience putting together a bill of materials) we highly recommend Dragon Innovation's Product Planner. This tool will help you put together your data in a format that any manufacturer will appreciate, but it will also help you plan out your entire build, not just the PCBA.
Board Data (Gerbers)
The next thing we'll need in order to quote a job is the gerber data for your bare circuit board (also known as the PCB). The gerber data is used to order your PCB's and to help us identify the polarity of most components. This is an absolutely essential set of files that we cannot do without.
XY Data (CAD Data)
If you want to save money, make sure to provide XY data. We can generate this ourselves, but it takes roughly 3 minutes per placement in order to generate and verify. If the average assembly has 100 placements, that's 5 hours of laborious work. Most CAD software will be able to export this data. It should contain at least 5 values but there are 2 optional values as well.
Part Numbers (sometimes this is not included)
Part Description (optional)
Package Description (optional)
We will then import this data into our machines and verify our setups to make sure that we're building your assemblies right the first time.