I've designed several PCB boards for different experimental products for the small company i work for.
Now it's time we move from experimental to actual production. So far the boards i've designed where sent to a manufacturer, and then i soldered every component myself (yeap, really small company).
I'm aiming for the next pcb to be sent for assembly with a pick & place machine, and i've never designed any board for this purpose, so i really don't know what considerations i have to keep in mind with such a design.
I need a detailed answer as to how to design boards for production with pick & place machine, and what are the most important facts to keep in mind. (I've searched the forum and couldn't find a "general" set of rules or tips, all answers are for particular questions and overlook general design criteria)
As a comment, right now if i placed components too close to each other or the design is too crowded of components, i can figure it out myself when soldering, or use some "tricks" all because i know every detail of the board, the intention here is that with the files i create anyone could send this board to manufacture and assembly, with no prior knowledge of the circuit. I hope i was clear as to what i'm asking, else comment and i'll elaborate a bit more.
Edit: All resistors and IC's are surface components, caps are of both types, there are some terminals and connectors, but 90% of the board is surface mount, so probably the through hole components could be soldered by hand.
Edit 2: I understand the answer to this might have to be too broad, maybe recommend a book regarding this topic?
I haven't decided the manufacturer, should i ask to all manufacturers in regards of their limitations? Surely there has to be some standards, or at the very least typical pick&place machine dimensions or default values as how many different component sizes allowed and the like.
Sidenote: I'm familiar with Altium Designer and Kicad, but if there's need of an extra software i have no problems in learning.