My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

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WovenCookie
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My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by WovenCookie »

There is nothing too clever about this one, it is just as the title says. I may be wasting resources on this one, but what does it really matter, its just a couple of chests. All it really does that is "special" is add a buffer before placing it on the belts. There is probably better ways to do this but hey, I'm doing trial and error to see how. This setup can be done early game, but again, probably better ways to do it :D

Its the first I've done since quite some time, so take a look. Also, it is infinitely expandable.


My early Setup

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MadZuri
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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by MadZuri »

Buffer systems are highly overrated. True mastery of this game (and life) comes from balance. With balance one can achieve enlightenment. Seek balance, and avoid things which mask balance, such as buffer systems and storage tanks. Just some advice from somebody that has played this game for thousands of hours (and had former education in logistics and industrial design).

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by DerivePi »

MadZuri wrote:Buffer systems are highly overrated. True mastery of this game (and life) comes from balance. With balance one can achieve enlightenment. Seek balance, and avoid things which mask balance, such as buffer systems and storage tanks. Just some advice from somebody that has played this game for thousands of hours (and had former education in logistics and industrial design).
Yeah, balance - as in, Hey, I've stripped all the ores and minerals for a 500 tile radius and my end of the balance is well grounded (what are you doing way up there?).

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by Lupoviridae »

MadZuri wrote:Buffer systems are highly overrated. True mastery of this game (and life) comes from balance. With balance one can achieve enlightenment. Seek balance, and avoid things which mask balance, such as buffer systems and storage tanks. Just some advice from somebody that has played this game for thousands of hours (and had former education in logistics and industrial design).
The zen of Factorio :p

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by WovenCookie »

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Last edited by WovenCookie on Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by Koub »

I guess the spirit is : if you come to need a buffer some time, it's the sign that you did not anticipate enough. The solution is not to build a buffer to overcome the lack of anticipation, but to anticipate better.

It seems legit : if you have to do some effort, it's better to use it to solve the source of the problem instead of adding a patch that solves nothing, but only delays the moment your problem will have to be addressed.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by SHiRKiT »

I love buffer systems because they are real things. Like imagine, you are doing science, science, science, science, and then stops doing some science because you forgot to research the next thing. Now imagine you only had 70% effective production because of a bit of resource shortage (which again is normal to happen), but now with the buffer, it will start to backlog iron, circuit and stuffs and things. When you resume the science, you'll have the buffer somewhat filled up and instead of working with 70% efficiency, you'll have 100% for a determined period of time. It's a win/win solution for me. It even spares me of needing to search for resources every time. I have huge (HUGE) Iron and Copper buffers (over 200k units), so I actually just search for new deposits when they go below 50k.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by Lupoviridae »

SHiRKiT wrote:I love buffer systems because they are real things. Like imagine, you are doing science, science, science, science, and then stops doing some science because you forgot to research the next thing. Now imagine you only had 70% effective production because of a bit of resource shortage (which again is normal to happen), but now with the buffer, it will start to backlog iron, circuit and stuffs and things. When you resume the science, you'll have the buffer somewhat filled up and instead of working with 70% efficiency, you'll have 100% for a determined period of time. It's a win/win solution for me. It even spares me of needing to search for resources every time. I have huge (HUGE) Iron and Copper buffers (over 200k units), so I actually just search for new deposits when they go below 50k.
See in this case your limiting reagent would be whatever is produced the slowest, likely the science packs themselves. I will typically keep storage of all of the end products (say keep 1000 of each potion in stock), but I must agree with MadZuri that I think having a buffer at every step is a bit over-rated. IMO Its better to make the production line 100% efficient, or even to overproduce the early items. Though I suppose by reducing the max efficiency you reduce the space requirements.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by tjmonk15 »

Lupoviridae wrote:
SHiRKiT wrote:...
... but I must agree with MadZuri that I think having a buffer at every step is a bit over-rated. IMO Its better to make the production line 100% efficient ...
I think buffer's are incredibly useful. Especially on smelting setups. If you need a reason to actually consider it, are trains 100% consistent output? Or periodic output? (Buffers are great for handling periodic inputs/outputs)

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by Lupoviridae »

tjmonk15 wrote:
I think buffer's are incredibly useful. Especially on smelting setups. If you need a reason to actually consider it, are trains 100% consistent output? Or periodic output? (Buffers are great for handling periodic inputs/outputs)

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This is very true, I do use buffers for loading and unloading trains. I guess I'm talking more about using buffers at every stage during a production line, I just don't see a point to it.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by Malawi »

I have to agree on buffering along the production-lines. The belts should provide ample buffer.

Still I like to have a nice buffer of iron and copper-plates, so that I don't have to keep track of the resources all the time.:-P

It's the same with excessive use of logistic bots. Most of the robots should be idle most of the time. I keep only a small amount of most products in supplier-chests, and don't use them for anything but low-volume products in the production-lines. (Partly to keep buffering low)

AFAIK - The big challenge is really to keep the belts balanced so that all production facilities along the line gets their share.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by tjmonk15 »

Lupoviridae wrote:
tjmonk15 wrote:...
This is very true, I do use buffers for loading and unloading trains. I guess I'm talking more about using buffers at every stage during a production line, I just don't see a point to it.
Ah, in that case I agree. I only use buffers right at train load/unload and right after smelting. One big plus of doing it right after smelting, is that you can pick up resources easier when you need to craft in your pocket.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by SpeedDaemon »

tjmonk15 wrote:
Lupoviridae wrote:
tjmonk15 wrote:...
This is very true, I do use buffers for loading and unloading trains. I guess I'm talking more about using buffers at every stage during a production line, I just don't see a point to it.
Ah, in that case I agree. I only use buffers right at train load/unload and right after smelting. One big plus of doing it right after smelting, is that you can pick up resources easier when you need to craft in your pocket.

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Aside from trains, buffers are very useful in allowing you to size production for average consumption, rather than peak consumption. For example, science pack use rate is variable, due to the varying research times for each tech. Instead of having to size your production to support X labs at 30 sec/tech and having it back up and go idle while researching 60 sec tech, or sizing for 60 sec and having it run out, you can stick in a buffer and size for an average of 45 sec per tech.

Same for strategically placed point-of-use buffers to allow steady, constant use of lower-tier belts instead of needing expensive fast ones that are only used to capacity occasionally.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by DoctorWho? »

]
Lupoviridae wrote:
tjmonk15 wrote:
I think buffer's are incredibly useful. Especially on smelting setups. If you need a reason to actually consider it, are trains 100% consistent output? Or periodic output? (Buffers are great for handling periodic inputs/outputs)

- Monk
This is very true, I do use buffers for loading and unloading trains. I guess I'm talking more about using buffers at every stage during a production line, I just don't see a point to it.
I do not see the problem of adding buffers at every stage, as I build everything at remote outposts, and ship it all into a centralized location, so I can easily grab the required materials for further expansion or destroying the homes of bitter scum-bags.

Stupid bugs, always breaking my military outposts...you would almost think they're intelligent...

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by bobucles »

If you're playing on peaceful settings and ludicrous resources, by all means buffer away. There is no downside to building up piles of resources. If you have aggressive biters and limited resources, buffering is BAD. Why?

- Every industrial action in factorio generates pollution.

- Pollution spreads to biters and makes them angry.

- Angry biters attack you and get stronger over time.

- Getting attacked drains your resources.

Mining generates a LOT of pollution. First tier smelters generate more pollution. When you throw thousands of ore and plates into chests, what you're really doing is generating a huge red blob on your map for the biters to evolve!

Getting back to the first reply, the key is BALANCE. Set up systems that mine and use the resources in a smooth stream, and don't create huge overflows of goods. Put those resources into base growth and tech growth, because they aren't going to do anything in a chest.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by Programmdude »

Personally when I started out, between all my assemblers I would stick a chest, so then they can fill up. I still do a similar thing with plates, and other raw materials, but between the assemblers it is just overkill. My new strategy is to use foreman to create the assembly graph for a certain product, so then it will tell me exactly how many assemblers I will need to produce x of a product per second. This way my assemblers are all nice and neat, no intermediate products being unused, yet they are all generating as quickly as possible.

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Re: My Iron and Copper system, with buffer

Post by GopherAtl »

re: science in particular, with the wide variation in research speeds, buffers really make more sense than aiming for balance. Sometimes you'll be doing 30s research, other times 60s, to set up production to handle the 30s leaves you producing double on the 60s ones. And that's not even figuring for variations in which types of science are required. So in that case, balance is not really possible; you can only balance for one particular configuration, not all of them. You don't need a big buffer, though; a stacks or two of each type will do fine, a whole chest is overkill and a waste. When hitting a mid-late game 30s tech, I'd much rather have it consuming from a buffer that filled up during the 60s ones than have the science center's demand on copper, plastic, sulfuric acid, etc. all double.
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