assembler barrel intake

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assembler barrel intake

Post by Sneaker2 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:00 pm

TL;DR

What ?
Since the introduction of tanker-cars, liquid barrels became quite useless imo. This is because the assemblers can only work with a direct pipe-intakes and dont have the option of inserting a matching liquid barrel. So instead of filling barrels, shipping them to the production-site, emptying them again and only then pumping them into the assemblers, you normally just construct direct pipes into the assemblers. In order to make barrels more useful again, assemblers would need to be able to insert barrels directly and return empty barrels.
Factorio barrel proposal 11062017.png
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Why ?
This would make the entire process easier, less space-consuming and also challenging, since the emptying-process in an extra assembler is skipped, the pipes arent needed anymore, but the barrels still need a return system for refilling. barrel transportation can also be compressed, since a belt could transport multiple types of liquid barrels instead of having one pipeline for each liquid type.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:14 pm

Interesting idea.


I would note that this would not be a trivial change, and would require some base code alteration. Not just the GUI and slots available, but actually making barrels a special type of item. They would need to be associated with the liquid they contain, instead of just an item that happens to have a recipe that produces a barrel and that liquid.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Lubricus » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:45 pm

The problem I see is that a barrel contains 250 units of fluids and an normal recipe take around 20 units of fluids so it would be around 10 times to much to have one barrel for one item. Should the assembler store the fluids in the buffer and use two recipes at once?
I see no use of barrels as they are know and even with the changes i probably don't going to use them. I works fine to pipe large amount of fluids long distances in 0.15. The only place where I have throughput problems is water and steam for the nuclear reactor.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:49 pm

Lubricus wrote:The problem I see is that a barrel contains 250 units of fluids and an normal recipe take around 20 units of fluids so it would be around 10 times to much to have one barrel for one item. Should the assembler store the fluids in the buffer and use two recipes at once?
I see no use of barrels as they are know and even with the changes i probably don't going to use them. I works fine to pipe large amount of fluids long distances in 0.15. The only place where I have throughput problems is water and steam for the nuclear reactor.
If you ignored the technical problems involved in setting it up, specifically not using recipes for barrels anymore, there are two ways to do it.

Barrels actually act like liquid tanks, and can be filled/emptied like them, via assemblers, or whatever other machine. Probably be able to add empty barrels to something that produces fluids and barrel it that way, actually.

Or, Barrels unload up to 250 liquid (or more if recipe takes more) into the assembler, regardless of how much it capacity appears to be. Its not like, again, limit breaks don't exist for items. Overclock an assembler that produces circuits, and put 250 or so copper cables in it, even though only 200 should fit.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Roxor128 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:00 am

You could make a mod for this fairly easily. Just a modified recipe that takes a barrel of the relevant fluid type instead of the fluid and produces an empty barrel as an additional output.

You would have to alter the number of inputs and outputs, given most recipes don't use 250L of any fluid.

For example, for processing units, the normal recipe is 10s + 2 advanced circuits + 20 electronic circuits + 5 sulphuric acid = 1 processing unit

A modified version to use barrels would be 500s + 100 advanced circuits + 1000 electronic circuits + 1 sulphuric acid barrel = 50 processing units + 1 empty barrel

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Koub » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:31 am

Actually liquid barrels with fluids other than oil were added exactly at the same time as rail tanker-cars. Thus, rail tanker-cars could not "become" useless. :)
Furthermore, there is no need of pipes :
Factorio - Problem solved.JPG
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Well more seriously, each recipe you'd want to make possible with barrels instead of a fluid input would need to be a different recipe too. So you vould need many many duplicate recipes for every craft requiring a fluid input, one with barrels, and one with fluid. Thats much complication for something you can achieve with a simple unbarelling assembling machine somewhere.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by bobingabout » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:42 am

In theory, what you want could potentially be possible with a mod... Create a clone of the recipe (Well, every recipe that takes a fluid) to take a barrel instead of a fluid, then multiply the numbers (ingredients, results, construction time etc) to match what is 250 of the fluid. and add an empty barrel to the results.

Of course this should only be done for assembling machine recipes, and maybe a couple of the chemical plant recipes (Like plastic, batteries and sulphur), other things like oil processing and cracking should probably still require the fluids directly. (especially those recipes that use more than one fluid)

EDIT: I TL;DRd, and didn't notice that Roxor128 had already suggested this.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by PacifyerGrey » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:06 am

It is too difficult to make 2 sets of the same recipe. You know the consequences Bob (looking at synthetic wood).
While I do like the idea maybe it would better be added as a basic new ability for assemblers. That loading a barrel into it will just add the fluid to the input buffer and instantly (or not) placing the empty barrel to the output.

And I do agree that barreling as it is makes near to no use. It is just too complex and expensive to set up compared to pipes for short distance and liquid wagons for long.

As an alternative the new type of entity - the unbarreler - could be introduced. It should take much less space than assembler, much closer to a pump. But I still see the barrels themselves, namely their cost, being the culprit.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Lav » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:11 pm

The problem with this idea is that assemblers effectively get two different item outputs: whatever item is produced per recipe PLUS barrel.

Which item will your output inserter take? I guess this could be solved with filter inserters, but that feels like a very hacky solution.

An alternative suggestion: instead of allowing assemblers to take filled barrels as ingredient, allow inserters to pick barrels, pour their contents into assembler, and put empty barrel back where it came from.

That could result in some interesting blueprints as far as I can tell.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by urza99814 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:06 pm

Lav wrote:The problem with this idea is that assemblers effectively get two different item outputs: whatever item is produced per recipe PLUS barrel.

Which item will your output inserter take? I guess this could be solved with filter inserters, but that feels like a very hacky solution.
The kovarex enrichment process already has multiple output products and that works fine. You might need filter inserters depending on the setup but remember that that's taking the place of a pair of inserters and an assembly machine at least!

I dunno about this suggestion though. Barrels are already insanely OP. For example, if they made this change why would anyone ever use a fluid wagon when a cargo wagon full of barrels can transport far more? Why use fluid tanks when a chest full of barrels holds more in less space? Why use pipes if a belt full of barrels has better throughout? And with the logistics network you can drop the barrels anywhere you need! I'd say if they're gonna do this they should reduce the capacity of each barrel down to 20 too. Or maybe give them a stack size of 1.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by mrvn » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:25 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:Interesting idea.


I would note that this would not be a trivial change, and would require some base code alteration. Not just the GUI and slots available, but actually making barrels a special type of item. They would need to be associated with the liquid they contain, instead of just an item that happens to have a recipe that produces a barrel and that liquid.
Every barrel already seems to be an item with it's own graphics so I don't quite get what you mean there. Also there are lots of recipies with multiple outputs, most obviously the unbarreling assembler. But the centrifuge for uranium processing also has multiple outputs. Simply adjusting the numbers for a full barrel per run should be trivial to mod. Impractical for normal gameplay though.

What would be new and I think an interesting change would be for the assembler to take a barrel as input, fill it's internal fluid buffer with it and run the original recipie over and over. Then when all the fluid is drained from the barrel the empty barrel would pop into the (second) output slot independent from the primary output.

The closest match to this would be furnaces and boilers, except instead of completely using up the fuel an empty barrel would pop out after the content is used up.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Ranakastrasz » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:54 pm

What I mean is that you make the barrels an item type, like a tool, science pack, or ammo.

Like an normal item, except it has a
-Capacity

and each instance has
-Liquid Type
-Liquid Quantity.

Or, its all or nothing, so instead of quantity it is a Boolean, full or empty.

So, you have a slot in assembly machines for a barrel, and it will empty from that barrel, no recipe involved. Its like an item version of a tank, storing liquids until they are used.

This would require changes to a lower level code, so you can't just mod it in, nor just change the UI to add an extra slot, at least not easily.



Essentially, Make barrels fill and empty as a function of their item type, instead of being an item that happens to simulate loading and unloading a liquid.

Kinda like how you could simulate a higher stack size by crafting iron plates into compressed iron plates (with 100 iron plates -> 1 compressed, and 1 compressed -> 100 plates), where an iron plate and a compressed iron plate are only related on account of they having a recipe.

not sure how to explain it better...
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Selvek » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:01 pm

I think what it comes down to is "fluid handling isn't that big of a deal however you do it".

IE -
1) For oil outposts, you used to have to use barrels. Now you don't. A barrel train has higher throughput but higher complexity than a fluid wagon setup, but not by enough to make much difference. And the throughput is enormous compared to the output of an oil outpost anyway, so it doesn't matter. So, now I use fluid wagons, but it doesn't make much difference to me either way.

2) I use barrels for uranium mining because it lets me make better use of the space I have on the train (don't need a full car of acid to produce a full train of ore). But, again, the train throughput is so high compared to outpost yield that using a full wagon for acid wouldn't really matter.

3) Some people use barrels and logistics for getting lube to engine and blue belt plants. I could see that being helpful if a) you need lube in a bunch of different areas, or b) your factory is so dense that routing pipes is a pain. In most cases, routing pipes is pretty easy, but then, barreling and using logistics is pretty easy too. So, again, it really doesn't matter which way you pick.

Conclusion - no, you don't need barrels. But they're not useless. They could provide some tiny benefits to some people in some circumstances.

Favorite use for barrels: Heat steam to 500C. Put into steel barrel. Flight at high speed through cold, high altitude air. Drop barrel at steam turbine setup. Extract steam, which is somehow still at 500C.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by mrvn » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:28 am

Ranakastrasz wrote:What I mean is that you make the barrels an item type, like a tool, science pack, or ammo.

Like an normal item, except it has a
-Capacity

and each instance has
-Liquid Type
-Liquid Quantity.

Or, its all or nothing, so instead of quantity it is a Boolean, full or empty.

So, you have a slot in assembly machines for a barrel, and it will empty from that barrel, no recipe involved. Its like an item version of a tank, storing liquids until they are used.

This would require changes to a lower level code, so you can't just mod it in, nor just change the UI to add an extra slot, at least not easily.



Essentially, Make barrels fill and empty as a function of their item type, instead of being an item that happens to simulate loading and unloading a liquid.

Kinda like how you could simulate a higher stack size by crafting iron plates into compressed iron plates (with 100 iron plates -> 1 compressed, and 1 compressed -> 100 plates), where an iron plate and a compressed iron plate are only related on account of they having a recipe.

not sure how to explain it better...
Not sure a barrel item that can hold any type and amount of liquid is needed. I imagine code wise barrels should be more like fuel. You add the barrel to the assembler, it consumes a full barrel when it starts and it uses up the liquid as it runs. When the liquid is all used up it outputs an empty barrel and starts on the next one.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Ranakastrasz » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:12 pm

mrvn wrote:
Not sure a barrel item that can hold any type and amount of liquid is needed. I imagine code wise barrels should be more like fuel. You add the barrel to the assembler, it consumes a full barrel when it starts and it uses up the liquid as it runs. When the liquid is all used up it outputs an empty barrel and starts on the next one.
That would work as well. And is a much better explaination.

Barrels are a special item type like fuel items, producing an "Empty Barrel" and an amount of liquid.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by mrvn » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:36 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:
mrvn wrote:
Not sure a barrel item that can hold any type and amount of liquid is needed. I imagine code wise barrels should be more like fuel. You add the barrel to the assembler, it consumes a full barrel when it starts and it uses up the liquid as it runs. When the liquid is all used up it outputs an empty barrel and starts on the next one.
That would work as well. And is a much better explaination.

Barrels are a special item type like fuel items, producing an "Empty Barrel" and an amount of liquid.
More like nuclear fuel cells. The nuclear reactor has exactly the wanted behaviour. Just change the nuclear fuel cell with the relevant barrel type.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Ranakastrasz » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:05 pm

mrvn wrote:
Ranakastrasz wrote:
mrvn wrote:
Not sure a barrel item that can hold any type and amount of liquid is needed. I imagine code wise barrels should be more like fuel. You add the barrel to the assembler, it consumes a full barrel when it starts and it uses up the liquid as it runs. When the liquid is all used up it outputs an empty barrel and starts on the next one.
That would work as well. And is a much better explaination.

Barrels are a special item type like fuel items, producing an "Empty Barrel" and an amount of liquid.
More like nuclear fuel cells. The nuclear reactor has exactly the wanted behaviour. Just change the nuclear fuel cell with the relevant barrel type.
Well yes, Nuclear fuel cells have the whole, burned result thinggy. They are still fuels.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by ssilk » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:28 pm

Added this interesting discussion to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=19343 Boxing / Packaging / Container / Cargobox : Pre-Filling
Cause similar discussion could be made with items instead of liquids.
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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by Veklim » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:37 am

Honestly I fail to see why anyone would say barrels are not useful.....

Pipes are great for short distance throughput, no question, huge strips of nothing but tanks into pumps into tanks into pumps etc are faster still (and also hilarious, I suggest you try it sometime if you've not already), but THAT is somewhere closer to not useful in all fairness.

Train tanks are great because they load insanely fast, hold up to 3 obvious/distinct fluids, allow for direct pipe>train interface and are thus remarkably simple to implement. They also look cool, and who hasn't zoomed in and watched the pump to train tank animation? That's some serious effort put to work there, smell the roses people!

Barrels are awesome because they are compact, logistically sanguine and offer a whole host of logistically intricate and unusual arrangements. Just lately a friend of mine made a 32 core nuke plant which can only function at the efficiency it achieves due to the space reduction allowed by water barrels instead of pipes. Conversely, in my latest world I have avoided using barrels deliberately, to see where the limitations might occur from doing such, and honestly you can do pretty much all the same stuff you used to do with those barrels back in the good old days.

My point is this really, barrels just add more options to the table, they have a more complex set of reasons to be used and often occupy the extreme ends of the number crunching game (i.e. a fully compressed blue belt of barrels represents, afaik, the highest possible fluid throughput in the vanilla game (for a single tile wide strip of any given length, certainly)). If you want to calculate precise ratios for bot transfer of fluids to a series of production nodes (especially if you're circuit controlling them en masse, etc) then you can calculate the throughput of one assembler unbarrelling fluids and figure out precisely how many processes/second that can achieve, ergo how many assemblers you are hard-piping in a nice little box, etc. In my eperience, the further into automation you go, the more appealing the barrel becomes.

In conclusion (I do get there eventually) o_O
What you're suggesting is that the barrel item/mechanic needs new implementation to become more useful, by way of making every user of said implementation require extra hardware to use it...
...Instead of using the already highly functional barrel item/mechanic with it's existing implementation, which is both more than sufficient AND in no means needing a buff.

I see what you're suggesting, I wouldn't even mind trying it out, and there's nothing wrong with the thought experiments going on in this thread, it's the only reason I responded really, but I wished to air my disagreement with the core purpose behind the OP, we don't need this to 'make barrels more useful again'.

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Re: assembler barrel intake

Post by mrvn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:50 pm

Except how do you handle empty barrels?

I tried having a main bus with one lane for each type of filled barrel and a returning lane for empty barrels. But that quickly deadlocks because some unbarrelling assembler early in the bus can't put empty barrels back when the bus is backed up up to there. Only solution (other than having very few barrels so they can never back up anywhere) I found so far is having an empty barrel return lane for every unbarrelling assembler and pair them up with barreling assemblers. Which is pretty wasteful when they could share.

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