I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

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crispeeweevile
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I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by crispeeweevile »

Okay so I've been working on my factory a fair bit and I decided that I should make the cogs when I need them. So all machines that need cogs also have a smaller cog factory next to them, I've heard that this is a good plan for copper cables, but I'm not sure about the cogs.

Thanks in advance.

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atomizer
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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by atomizer »

Making gears reduces the amount of items (2 plates to 1 gear), so making them early reduces the amount of belts you need. Copper cables are the opposite, because making them increases amount of items (1 plate to 2 cables), so making them close to consumers is the better choice.

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by SoShootMe »

Despite atomizer's point, when using belt for logistics, I think iron gear wheels are most commonly made near where they are needed, but it's not unheard of to create a belt full of them that you can use to supply the various parts of your factory that need them. The latter reduces the number of belts (as atomizer described) but tends to increase their complexity because many recipes need both iron plates and iron gear wheels.

"Near" doesn't necessarily mean direct insertion however. Direct insertion is most effective when large quantities are needed (as is the case for the copper cable used to make electronic circuits), but in most cases one or two iron gear wheel assemblers can be used to supply a number of other nearby assembling machines by belt (this is also true for the copper cable used to make advanced circuits).

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by Serenity »

atomizer wrote:
Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:36 pm
Making gears reduces the amount of items (2 plates to 1 gear), so making them early reduces the amount of belts you need.
True, but these days it's really not important. This was a huge issue when military science needed many turrets and chemical science mining drills or assembly machines. The amount of gear wheels and iron you needed then was enormous and gear belts made a lot of sense. But the recipes were reworked and now the iron needs aren't that bad. There is absolutely nothing wrong with producing the gears for science locally.


The thing that still needs an astronomical amount of gears is belt production. Especially red and blue belts. And even there you can produce the gears locally. You just need a lot of assemblers for them. I just wouldn't supply the iron for that from the main bus, but give it dedicated belts. And those gear assemblers can also supply the rest of "make everything" factory.

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by Laie »

"Locally" tends to be easier, at least at first.

I tend to think of red&green science as one unit; it's easy to make both from iron & copper plates.

The only other science recipie that needs cogs is engines; these also require pipes and again, it's quite easy to only belt in iron, and make pipes and cogs locally.

Other than that, well, construction material requires cogs, lots and lots of them. It also requires iron plates, so again it's totally possible to make the cogs locally. Then again, it requires comparatively few iron plates as is, 90% or more are made into cogs. In time it becomes sensible to make the cogs elsewhere, especially once beacons and productivity modules come into play... but for me, that does not happen until after a few rockets have launched.

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atomizer
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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by atomizer »

Serenity wrote:
Sat Dec 18, 2021 5:28 pm
atomizer wrote:
Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:36 pm
Making gears reduces the amount of items (2 plates to 1 gear), so making them early reduces the amount of belts you need.
True, but these days it's really not important. This was a huge issue when military science needed many turrets and chemical science mining drills or assembly machines. The amount of gear wheels and iron you needed then was enormous and gear belts made a lot of sense. But the recipes were reworked and now the iron needs aren't that bad. There is absolutely nothing wrong with producing the gears for science locally.
Yes, you are right on both points. I now realise that I was, in fact, conditioned into making gear belts by the old recipes and never really thought about this again. Nevermind!

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by Tertius »

The gears are a bottleneck for a mall - that part of the factory that will create all your belts, inserters, assembling machines, ore miners etc. you're tired to create manually. If I need a batch of these, there are not enough gears and not enough iron for fast production, but if you extend the ad hoc building of gears, it's kind of wasted, because half of the time it stands still.

So I built a (too small) factory of only 4 assemblers for gears but with a generous buffer with 8 chests. That gear factory will run continuously, regardless of the mall producing anything or not, and if you actually need the gears for a batch of whatever, the buffer chest will provide full belts.

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by Laie »

Tertius wrote:
Sat Dec 18, 2021 10:25 pm
So I built a (too small) factory of only 4 assemblers for gears but with a generous buffer with 8 chests. That gear factory will run continuously, regardless of the mall producing anything or not, and if you actually need the gears for a batch of whatever, the buffer chest will provide full belts.
Tried that and was underwhelmed, even a very large buffer was spent quickly. I tried limiting consumption by using relatively slow inserters to feed the machines, and having large output buffers (so I'd have 500 underground belts sitting in a chest, rather than 4 chests of cogs elsewhere). This works better, but the fear of buffer underruns makes me keep a rather large stockpile of everything, and there's still noticeable spikes in demand whenever I pick up a load. In part because I tend to not only place belts, but also inserters and machines all at the same time, so that's several machines in the mall going into action all at once. Even with standard inserters, this adds up.

Ultimately, the cog machines are part of the mall, and like the whole mall, they're idle or under-utilized for most of the time. The only question is, how far do you take it? I'm alright with having a considerable cog capacity sitting on standby, but draw the line at keeping the requisite smelters at the ready. So ultimately, when demand for cogs soars, this will strangle other production.

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by Tertius »

500 underground belts is excessive. Especially these will drain your gears very fast. You will never need that many on the spot. The key to balanced item production is limiting the chest space where the finished items end up. On demand production, not warehousing. I produce no more than 4 stacks of every type of belts, 2 stacks of underground belts, 2 stacks of splitters, for example. 2 stacks of yellow and red inserters, 4 stacks of blue inserters, 1 stack of the other inserters. Similar concept with everything else. There is no chest I let fill completely except for intermediate items.

The key is balancing item production with item demand. Produce as many items you need in a batch, so you never have to wait. Not less, but not much more as well. Usually, this corresponds to the amount of item stacks you dedicate for each item in your inventory.

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Re: I need to make cogs... (How should I?)

Post by JimBarracus »

Tertius wrote:
Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:05 am
500 underground belts is excessive.
Do you want to know what is excessive?
I only use blue underground belts.
For everything.

Anyway, producing cogs can be made in a central location or by demand.
It is very difficult to determine a good production rate when a lot of the cogs are needed for base building.

I'd rather overproduce and let the machines idle than having to wait for a batch of miners while halting science production.
A bot based mall also includes large buffers with raw materials.
Centralized production is better if you use modules.

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