Smart/multitask furnaces

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MeduSalem
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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by MeduSalem » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:20 am

xnmo wrote:I was almost going to post this in -root's help thread but decided here was probably more appropriate.

Really like this smart furnace idea and will likely use some variant of this in the future. That being said the look of the staggered rows in the design by rk84 and -root was bugging me so I made a slight change to the blueprint. Looks a lot neater and is more efficient on chest usage too.

With this blueprint it's also easy to leave in spaces if you want. So if that is what you desire you can fit beacons in too. Maybe not enough compared to what MeduSalem likes though :D
Looks nice! :D

Iron and Copper ore is pretty easy to achieve... and there's no real downside at all. ^^

... I just used the beacons because there was space to fit some and because I'm also experimenting around with beacons in different layouts in general... to find out if they are really worth the effort.^^

If really using beacons then the furnaces have to run 24/7... feeding a massive storage system or something if you are not going to use all the plates, which is the case for my maps. Otherwise using beacons makes no sense at all and it would be better to have more furnaces to make up for that.

I'm actually curious how the expaned logic system in one of the upcoming updates will be like... because I read that there may be ways to control entire power grids with a signal of the logic circuit... Which actually would allow easily to shut down power to all beacons thereby reducing their power drain to zero once you don't need them anymore. :D
DerivePi wrote:If you are just dealing with Cu and Fe ores then the problem with balancing the "smart" furnaces goes away and the issue is limited to supplying the right balance of Fe and Cu ore. When you add stone and steel, two serious challenges present:
1. Furnaces must be fed the correct number of ingredients for steel and brick production
2. Production of Steel and brick should be limited. There is no reason to limit the production of FE and CU plate.

The corollary to item 2 is that FE and CU plates should continue to be produced regardless of supply. There is no reason for any furnace to be idle when it can be producing these plates.

To balance CU and FE (and not have idle furnaces) production I propose linking 2 timing circuits together. When one loop finishes, the other begins. One loop for CU and one for FE. Along each loop, place smart inserters that are linked to the storage of FE and CU plates. The inserters operate if the storage is below a certain ascending amount and shortens the timing loop (ie the time that ore is not loaded into the system - more supply of that plate = longer time for the opposite ore to be loaded into the system). Once the loop is finished the other timing loop begins (with an exception if supply of the other ore is empty it doesn't start the other loop). Loading the system is done with smart inserters and can be placed onto a belt or directly into each furnace.
Yupp, pretty much... Steel needs to be limited at first but can be handled easily later on once inserters are able to grab 5 plates at once... as they can be easily set to work only when they actually can fetch 5 plates in one grab. But stone remains a massive downer and something one has to keep an eye at. Limiting the production is one way to go at it. But I might actually throw stone out of my setups because it's not that easily to be controlled like the other 3. I wish I could set the inserters to how many items they grab which each pick, because it would make things much, much easier.



I actually once had a simple gate logic by linking the output inserters and output chests together... then I had a load balance of 50:50... but it had one fatal flaw... it did not work if one of the ore supplies stopped because it blocked the processing of the other ore. And I couldn't solve that problem because the game doesn't provide a way to have "greater/equal", "lesser/equal", "NOT", as well as an "OR" for red&green wires. The logic system is a bit too limited to create complex gate systems in small spaces.

So timed circuits are better suited for that kind of load balancing obviously. That would be the smart approach.

I'm for the lazy approach... by regulating the ratios with my output belts... the more output belts for a plate type the more plates have to be made to fill the belts up, easily to calculate... one express belt = 2400 plates/min. It can be fine-grained with the amount of inserters taking from those belts at my storage center. There are roughly 8 inserters needed to take everything from an express belt with nothing passing by so that gives you increments of ~300plates/min or something (I guess someone has measured this already and may provide exact stats). Rather simple to setup... if the plates of one type go below a certain threshold then more inserters take from the belt thereby requesting more from the smelterbank thereby increasing the production of that plate. Needs a few seconds to adapt (the traveltime from the smelterbank to the storage system) but it works quite well. xD

Actually I only need the lazy method once... before my storage system is completed... but afterwards I never see it working again... because I think it is impossible that my 40 million plate storage will ever run full. :D

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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by n9103 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:05 pm

With this being a discrete system we're using, x >= n is the same as x > n-1. Same goes for <= and <.
Also, all the conditions on any smart inserter are already OR'd together, not AND'd. That aside, you can easily OR with simply having two inserters inserting into one chest with one condition each.
AND is two inserters, with one condition each, in series with a belt removing the items that are put down, so that one condition can't be met, and then a later condition is met, and it would count as if both had been met, for one cycle anyway.
NOT is the only one that's a pain to implement actually. Though that might be a personal problem for me, since I avoid using circuits that are completely independent of the resources they're dealing with.
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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by Junion » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:24 pm

are you sure the conditions on Smart inserters are Or'ed together?

I have a setup where a single inserter watches on red if a box has >3 logic bots, then watches on green if it has >0 construction bots.

The thing only triggers when the box it's watching has both >3 logic bots and >0 construction bots...that sounds like And behavior to me.

Unless you want to say it 'ors' to turn off?

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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by DerivePi » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:30 pm

Conditions for smart inserters are "AND" conditions.

There are a series of other logic gates you can produce in another thread ( https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ate#p35908 )
They are a bit bulky though.

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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by MeduSalem » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:21 pm

n9103 wrote:With this being a discrete system we're using, x >= n is the same as x > n-1. Same goes for <= and <.
I have already experienced situations where this leads to problems. Especially on edge cases when two or three conditions are coupled together. In those cases either two/three conditions trigger or it leads to a complete deadlock or it just misses out on one item causing an imbalance. I wouldn't ask for greater/equal if it would be possible to cover everything with "greater than"/"lesser than". I appreciate though that the devs tried to simplify things but some things may not be realized when comparisons work only this way.

One example which comes back to my mind for this problem is that one can't specify negative numbers for conditional settings, which especially a problem with the logistic network condition where negative numbers may be pretty common because of bots reserving stuff for pick-up when it becomes available to them. So having an inserter work in an interval from 0 to 100 is impossible to cover in such a scenario because you can't enter a condition to work when greater than -1... it would only work with greater or equal than 0. Having only one condition set to work when lesser than 101 (which covers 0 obviously) is just crap because the inserter will continue to work even when there are negative numbers like -42 in the logistic network, which you may not want.

As I've said... I experienced other scenarios as well where this becomes a problem.
n9103 wrote:Also, all the conditions on any smart inserter are already OR'd together, not AND'd. That aside, you can easily OR with simply having two inserters inserting into one chest with one condition each.
AND is two inserters, with one condition each, in series with a belt removing the items that are put down, so that one condition can't be met, and then a later condition is met, and it would count as if both had been met, for one cycle anyway.
As the other people above me stated... red&green wire conditions as well as logistic network conditions work only with AND. They are not OR'd together. The conditions must all be met or it doesn't work.

That said I just hate belt circuit systems. They are one ugly workaround for the limitations of the current logic system. They always end up being quite space consuming depending on what you want to do and require running additional wiring all over the place. I like to have selfcontained stuff which is easily to blueprint so I try to avoid having belt circuit systems.
n9103 wrote:NOT is the only one that's a pain to implement actually. Though that might be a personal problem for me, since I avoid using circuits that are completely independent of the resources they're dealing with.
Some stuff isn't possible without a NOT condition... and having to do weird belt circuits... just meh... like I wrote above. Just makes me abandon the entire idea when I realize I would have to resort on that stuff. ^^
DerivePi wrote:Conditions for smart inserters are "AND" conditions.

There are a series of other logic gates you can produce in another thread ( https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ate#p35908 )
They are a bit bulky though.
Exactly... It's possible to have other logic gates implemented by belt circuits... but NOPE. So not going to work out for self-contained stuff or tight setups. :/



So bottom line to this the missing conditions should be added at some point when the devs have time and I don't really see a reason why not. Also being able to toggle the Red&Green wire & logistics network conditions relations to be OR'd or AND'd individually for each relation would be quite nice. It would be nice if the relation between the 3 available conditions would be something like triangle, where you can decide how each relation between each two conditions is supposed to work.^^

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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by ssilk » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:16 am

MeduSalem wrote:a condition to work when greater than -1... it would only work with greater or equal than 0. Having only one condition set to work when lesser than 101 (which covers 0 obviously) is just crap because the inserter will continue to work even when there are negative numbers like -42 in the logistic network, which you may not want.
Since v0.10 you can ENTER other numbers into the number field. Just click into the field and write a number.
So bottom line to this the missing conditions should be added at some point when the devs have time and I don't really see a reason why not. Also being able to toggle the Red&Green wire & logistics network conditions relations to be OR'd or AND'd individually for each relation would be quite nice. It would be nice if the relation between the 3 available conditions would be something like triangle, where you can decide how each relation between each two conditions is supposed to work.^^
see eventually this discussion: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=5276

This is about how forum thinks, that the circuit network might work in future, and that shows, that the behavior of smart Inserter is quite ok, if we have more control about routing and operations on the signals. In my eyes, I don't want to think about "do I use now an AND or better OR?". That's too much micromanagement for me. I want to think about "which type of regulation controller do I need here, to make it run, and how do I need to cable it?".

This is also much more like in reality, cause no planning engineer of an iron smelting factory would use one thought into this direction (logic gates), but instead thinks about, which type of SPS can handle this needed kind of control.
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MeduSalem
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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by MeduSalem » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:18 pm

ssilk wrote:Since v0.10 you can ENTER other numbers into the number field. Just click into the field and write a number..
Negative numbers don't work for some reason. You can't enter a minus symbol, so only positive numbers work.
ssilk wrote:see eventually this discussion: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=5276

This is about how forum thinks, that the circuit network might work in future, and that shows, that the behavior of smart Inserter is quite ok, if we have more control about routing and operations on the signals. In my eyes, I don't want to think about "do I use now an AND or better OR?". That's too much micromanagement for me. I want to think about "which type of regulation controller do I need here, to make it run, and how do I need to cable it?".

This is also much more like in reality, cause no planning engineer of an iron smelting factory would use one thought into this direction (logic gates), but instead thinks about, which type of SPS can handle this needed kind of control.
Oh well if there's something even more sophisticated and robust being discussed for this then why not. I'll let myself get surprised with the result and what the devs will eventually implement once they get to the logic rework...^^

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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by rk84 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:21 pm

I'm trying to make more advance version and after alot of wiring I have working unit of 140 furnaces.

Furnace usage is not quite 100%. I did not bother to tweak signal conditions for border cases. So far it have work fine atleast for iron, copper and steel. I have not tested stone alot yet. It lacks proper input for stone. I'm thinking of trying stone Insertion to lognet chests in patches of 20.

Major part of logic without going in to details too much.
Total of 3 control signals in furnace area are in present and their magnitude (0-141) is used to control ore distribution. They are like borders that divide the area into 4 parts. (2 borders can divide area into 4, but I think crossing borders would have lacked flexability to control each part's size). I imagined parts lineary so that every part has 1 or 2 neighbor(s) ( steel | iron | copper | stone).

For addtional upgrade. Furnaces are turned off, if storages are full and/or out of raw materials. Alien artifacts are use to signals on/off -state.
Also Speed module 3 is for controlling system update frequency. I think I left module in chest so it is constant.

Here is save for prototype 2: v0106b.zip


Here is image of the signals. Why Steel-iron border is reversed? Its just accident, but I noticed it gives ability to manually stop steel by adding steel picks in system. I draw it when I was close to mental break down. hmm Iron gear and pipe seems to be reversed in this picture. damn it :lol:
signals.JPG
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Re: Smart/multitask furnaces

Post by xnmo » Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:48 pm

Furnaces draw 0 watts when idle, so turning off the system will only save on idle inserter draw. And it takes you a good 150 inserters to net you a massive savings of a single solar panel, so I don't really see the point.

In fact, it may even be the case that the energy usage of the circuit system used to turn off the furnaces will actually draw more power than you save. Not to mention it definitely costs more than a single solar panel to implement. :D

That being said it would be worth it if your setup involves beacons, they use a ridiculous amount of power and never turn off even if they aren't doing anything.

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