Smelting area iron/steel

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DraculBloodaxe
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Smelting area iron/steel

Post by DraculBloodaxe »

Fellow factorio players,

I've recently started a new factory and I was planning to use a central smelting area.
But this made me wonder In the case of Iron and steel
What is good ratio iron to steel that should be smelted or do you all smelt steel locally and only use a central area for iron and copper?

I know the ratio iron to steel will probably change depending on what you produce but what do you plan for when not yet producing anything.
currently I have a 16 furnace setup for my iron like the one Arumba described in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGvXgP6lmLM (I liked the idea of easily being able to replace it with electric furnaces).

So what amount of furnaces would you guys most likely use?

Koub
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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by Koub »

I personnally prefer local steel production. It makes a narrower main bus. Thus I can't tell how I balance steel/iron production.
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DraculBloodaxe
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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by DraculBloodaxe »

Koub wrote:I personnally prefer local steel production. It makes a narrower main bus. Thus I can't tell how I balance steel/iron production.
I have to say, when I started playing I had this big smelting area in mind where I would smelt copper, Iron and steel, but I'm slowly thinking of doing the steel locally, I'm just not quite there yet.
So I think this thread is to here to help me decide if I like the steel in the smelting area or not (depending on the replies in this thread). I Am however really interested if someone did some statistics on this matter and saw what amount of steel the average factory in growth will need.

JangoBunBun
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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by JangoBunBun »

As to the amount of furnaces; I use what I need.

If I need more iron (belts are being depleted, IE not full) I will place more furnaces.

Or, if I am expanding my consumption I'll add a few more before I build, just so nothing is bottle-necked.

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ssilk
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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by ssilk »

Both makes sense. Smelting steel locally: useful, if you would have otherwise long lines of belts, where the steel is stored on, without usage.
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quinor
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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by quinor »

Long belts are often excellent buffers and that's why I like using them. Additionally, you need less smelters when having only one smelting area instead of multiple, becouse usually not every part of the factory is working at the same time.

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DerivePi
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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by DerivePi »

Local production of steel vs steel on a main bus

Local production of steel
- flexible layout (initial planning is kept to a minimum)
- less steel buffering (both good and bad - actually, with a need for more furnaces to cover the scattered production of steel, this could wind up being "more steel buffering")

steel on a main bus
- With proper planning, steel production can easily be expanded (not as easy to expand if your steel production is scattered and trapped within other production areas)
- Identification of steel shortage is easily traced on the steel transport belt (full belt = no shortage, empty belt = problem)
- Problems linked to steel shortage can be easily traced (ex not enough iron plate, inserter turned, belt destroyed, etc...)
- Counter intuitively, for a large factory, allows for a narrower bus (1 steel bus = 5 iron plate busses)
- Allows for use of stone and steel furnaces (pumping coal/fuel to all of the scattered furnaces would really be a headache)

As for the ratio of steel, my factory rarely gets to that point. Because steel absorbs so much valuable iron plate in the early game, I slowly expand my steel production at a rate of one or two furnaces at a time. Each furnace will immediately suck up 500 iron plates until its internal buffer of 100 steel is full. For the early game, this sucks up a lot of initial resources. With a short bus length, the buffer of steel on the main bus belt could wind up being a lot less than the steel trapped in the furnaces.

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Re: Smelting area iron/steel

Post by Peter34 »

Koub wrote:I personnally prefer local steel production. It makes a narrower main bus. Thus I can't tell how I balance steel/iron production.
I'm not as far into the game as you others are, yet, so I can't comment on that thing, but I do know that for every Iron Ore smelted much less than 1.0 Coal is required, and I'm sure the same is true of Steel, so to me it makes more sense to move the Coal to where the Iron Mine is, and smelt the Iron there, rather than move the Iron Ore to where my Coal Mine is. Same with Copper, And of course even more so for Steel.

On the other hand, one benefit of a central smelting area is that you can quickly see when the incoming supply starts to run dry, e.g. when your Mines are getting depleted.

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