Kicad BOM creation for assembly vendors

What’s the proper workflow for creating BOMs that are compatible with popular vendors, such as JLCPCB, 7PCB, and Circuithub?

The exported BOMs usually require quite a lot of massaging before they are accepted by these vendors, and often I just am stuck doing it all manually in a spreadsheet. I’d like to stop doing that. (I mean, a little editing is expected)

Similarly, where is the correct field in the part to add manufacturer information? In eeschema there’s reference, value, footprint, datasheet. Should I add another field called “MFG PN” or something? For commodity parts, is there a more general way to do this? (for example, 1k 1% for a resistor)

Looks like the BOM is properly exported from eeschema, not pcbnew, and many plugins are available. It’s just not clear how to do this cleanly.

There are probably better ways but I am using spreadsheet for it. I don’t use JLCPCB or 7PCB so may be there are some special needs. I prepare documentation we send to our contract manufacturer and they have no questions.
Even I use spreadsheet I don’t feel it is a lot of manual work.
My work step by step:

  • open my spreadsheet containing at first sheet database of elements I use,
  • open csv generated by KiCad (changing at opening all columns type from Standard to Text)
  • select and copy rectangle 3…N/A…D in csv (Designator, Used, Value, Footprint),
  • paste it into second sheet (Bom) in my spreadsheet (at A6 position).
  • copy columns E,F,G equations from 6 row down to all rows needed.
  • select rows 6…N and sort them by columns G and C.
  • select and copy rectangle 6…N/A…F.
  • paste it into my destination BOM (special paste - only texts). It is another spreadsheet with first few lines already filled.

The key is in equations in columns E,F,G. They just find in database at first sheet the right element (by concatenation of value and footprint) and copy information from there to Bom sheet.
Column E is Description (sometimes containing a list of substitutions).
Column F is the info in what file I have something I understand as producer declaration that element is RoHS compliant.
Column G is 2…3 char symbol used to sort my bom so it is sorted first by these symbols and then by value. For example capacitor 8p2 has in G 6G1, capacitor 47p has 6G2, and 100p has 6G3. Thanks to that these capacitors will be in my bom in order 8p2, 47p, 100p even sorting them alphabetically by value would get opposite order.
I have made that spreadsheet many years ago and recently moving to KiCad I just decided to not search for KiCad specialized solutions for bom generation.

For Jlcpcb, they have a page on their site which describes the process. They suggest using the scripts that are found here

These workflows are specific for jlcpcb and other manufacturers will have different systems. Usually a csv file is the lowest common denominator. It is fairly straightforward to hack one the installed scripts to generate the output that you need.

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