Beacon usage

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Beacon usage

Postby Mr. Tact » Sun May 14, 2017 1:56 pm

Howdy. Despite having played quite a bit of Factorio, probably a couple thousand hours worth, I've never really used beacons. I'm looking into it now and I have a quick question...

Is there a consensus on the effected building module use? From what I can tell it standard to use speed modules in the beacons, but I haven't been able to tell if the effected assembly building or furnace should be using productivity or additional speed modules.
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby Mehve » Sun May 14, 2017 3:40 pm

There are a lot of posts analyzing the interaction of beacons, but the rough consensus can be said to say:

1) Don't bother with efficiency modules in beacons
2) The interaction between high-level productivity and speed modules can exceed the sum of their individual contributions, giving you more output, with less input, with less power/unit consumed.
3) For best use, put productivity modules somewhere where they are affecting the maximum amount of material/time. That is, put them in more frequent processes that are further ahead in the manufacturing process (the ultimate being the rocket silo).
4) The exception is pumpjacks, which are bottomless and do best with only speed modules.
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby Serenity » Sun May 14, 2017 6:02 pm

A common usage is to use productivity modules in assemblers/plants themselves and then speed beacons to increase the speed back up (productivity makes it slower)
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby Lav » Sun May 14, 2017 6:18 pm

Mehve wrote:2) The interaction between high-level productivity and speed modules can exceed the sum of their individual contributions, giving you more output, with less input, with less power/unit consumed.

This is a common misconception. There is no way for production/speed module setup to exceed the power/unit ratio of a zero-module setup.

Speed beacons improve power/unit ratio of a factory which already has production modules installed, but for as long as you're using production and/or speed modules, you will use more power per item produced.
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby iceman_1212 » Thu May 18, 2017 2:11 am

Lav wrote:
Mehve wrote:2) The interaction between high-level productivity and speed modules can exceed the sum of their individual contributions, giving you more output, with less input, with less power/unit consumed.

This is a common misconception. There is no way for production/speed module setup to exceed the power/unit ratio of a zero-module setup.

Speed beacons improve power/unit ratio of a factory which already has production modules installed, but for as long as you're using production and/or speed modules, you will use more power per item produced.


I'm pretty sure the intention there was to compare speed beacon + productivity vs. only productivity, otherwise it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison.
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby DaveMcW » Thu May 18, 2017 3:06 am

Lav wrote:There is no way for production/speed module setup to exceed the power/unit ratio of a zero-module setup.

Sure there is. A rocket silo with production/speed uses less raw materials, which means the rest of your factory consumes less power.

Same with high-tech labs and science packs.
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby Lav » Thu May 18, 2017 4:09 am

Hmm, if you consider the cumulative effects down the production chain, then possibly. Though I'm not certain even then, and it will depend on the length and resource usage of the chain to boot.
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby tamanous » Thu May 18, 2017 6:28 pm

When I got to the point you (the OP) are at right now, I found Productivity Module Math. Then i started understanding the calculations and found, that I wanted to not follow them to the letter but rather set my own assumptions and priorities (note: there is a "optimal" solar panel to accumulator ratio. When calculating the higher need for energy caused by modules, this ratio is taken into account).
It took me like a month of my spare time to finish them in excel, as I'm not that smart on math and economics as many others here are (or able to spend that much time).

I'd recommend to give it a shot and try to figure it out, if you'd like:
point of break even
Comparing a early ROI with low +productivity and a late ROI with high +productivity. Where are the break even points?

point of break even = (ROI 1 - ROI 2) / (mod 1 - mod 2 )
ROI = R / yield
R total = (R [modules] * count + R [beacons] * count) - R [assembly] + kW [calc] + R [machine] - R [machine]
R [assembly] = R [machine] * (1 - Production [modified] * speed [modified]
kw [calc] = (kW [modified machine] - kW [unmodified machine] + kW beacons) * kW [mod]
kW [mod] = 0,64 R/kW ( see "optimal ratio" )


Knowing that beacon and machine placement is was crucial at that point, it took me down to beacon placement (though after finishing my calculations, I found new interesting concepts of beacon placement here and on reddit etc. example).
This post gives a very good introduction in beacon calculations. After getting to its point, I again started my own research here.
For each different beacon layout, there are optimal values, too. The most used "standard" beacon-machine placing looks somewhat like,

BBBBBB
=MMM=
BBBBBB
=MMM=
BBBBBB
( hint: for this layout, number of modules is: { beacon ( ( 3 + machines per row ) + ( 3 + machines per row ) * rows ) * 2 } + { assembling machines ( machines per row * rows ) * slots ) }

Though, with different layouts, lengths of rows and columns, the calculations for beacons per machine, modules per machine, thus R and thus ROI and so on change, of course.

Enjoy! :)
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Re: Beacon usage

Postby Mehve » Fri May 19, 2017 9:34 pm

iceman_1212 wrote:
Lav wrote:
Mehve wrote:2) The interaction between high-level productivity and speed modules can exceed the sum of their individual contributions, giving you more output, with less input, with less power/unit consumed.

This is a common misconception. There is no way for production/speed module setup to exceed the power/unit ratio of a zero-module setup.

Speed beacons improve power/unit ratio of a factory which already has production modules installed, but for as long as you're using production and/or speed modules, you will use more power per item produced.


I'm pretty sure the intention there was to compare speed beacon + productivity vs. only productivity, otherwise it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

Yeah, I was referring to that in comparison to using only prod or speed modules alone. Although there is the 3 efficiency3 + 1 speed3 module combo to consider, as long as you don't think too hard about the energy involved in making those modules in the first place :)
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