Packer / unpacker

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Diggsey
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Packer / unpacker

Post by Diggsey » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:45 pm

TL;DR
Packer/unpacker buildings to pack (small) specific numbers of items together into a single item.

What ?
The idea is that you can prepare exact combinations of items for a recipe in one location, and then ship them somewhere else to be crafted. The goal is not to increase the amount that can be transported, so packing will be limited to a small number of items (say 8).

Packing must always be done via a "packer" building, where you can specify the combination of items you want in each "crate". Unpacking will be done by an "unpacker inserter". This will work a bit like the burner inserter: it will first take a "crate" and place it onto itself. The crate will be opened and then the individual items will be inserted into the destination one at a time.
Why ?
To encourage alternate styles of factory, where it is easier to process exact numbers of items. Provides an alternative to large, messy belt networks for low-volume items before logistic robots have been fully researched. For example: the ingredients to science packs are an ideal candidate.

Koub
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Re: Packer / unpacker

Post by Koub » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:33 am

Diggsey wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:45 pm
The idea is that you can prepare exact combinations of items for a recipe in one location, and then ship them somewhere else to be crafted.
Why ship the items if you have them all gathered into the same place and need them assembled ? Assemble them, and ship the final product :).
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

Zaflis
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Re: Packer / unpacker

Post by Zaflis » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:30 am

There are some mods that do this right now:
- https://mods.factorio.com/mod/omnimatter_compression : It will not only let you pack and unpack, but use the compressed items directly in assemblers to produce compressed stuff. There are even compressed assemblers, giving enormous and imbalanced boosts to UPS. 0% chance that devs implement this. There is even a "upgrade planner" kind of tool that can mark an ore field to produce compressed ore. Of course if 1 compressed ore = 50 regular ore, it takes 50 times longer to mine.

- https://mods.factorio.com/mod/OreCompress : I did a bit more modest Ore- and PlateCompress mods that only pack and unpack. Even this can be considered overpowered by vanilla purists. It is a buff to all belts, bots and trains, but we like to highlight how OP the bots will become. When it's about belts, 1 express belt of compressed iron ore would fit same as 20 belts. It does trivialize logistics and for that alone i don't think they are going to allow it. At most 1:2 ratio perhaps and maybe just ores. It won't save much UPS that way though because of the extra logistics required for packing.


SyncViews
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Re: Packer / unpacker

Post by SyncViews » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:59 am

Diggsey wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:45 pm
To encourage alternate styles of factory, where it is easier to process exact numbers of items. Provides an alternative to large, messy belt networks for low-volume items before logistic robots have been fully researched. For example: the ingredients to science packs are an ideal candidate.
You can do something like this already, with clever circuits or belt merging/splitting to place multiple item types on the same belt side and control the rate and ratio.

I normally only do it occasionally late game though, as I really hate underground belt weaving and if you have a row of beacons both sides of an assembling machine, you only get space for one belt each side. e.g. batteries (belt one side, pipe the other), explosives (4 inputs), robot frames, etc.

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darkfrei
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Re: Packer / unpacker

Post by darkfrei » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:51 am

It's practically only when I have much bigger ingredient amount.
Recipe 1xA + 2xB + 4xC + 8xD then ingredients B, C and D must be packed to packs with 2, 4 and 8 pieces.
Then the assembling machine needs for this recipe only 4 items, not 15 as before.

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