Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

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Cordylus
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Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cordylus » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:40 am

As the Ssilk said, Factorio needs a fourth transport medium, slow, high throughput for two reasons: a) transport masses of items from small outposts to a central point (big outpost or factory) b) transport things over the ground, important in very thigh areas.
Let's imagine this:
The little creaking wagons moving on the steel ropes above the machines, railway stations, oil installations, defense lines, forests and lakes... To visualize it I made this picture:
THE ROPEWAY CONVEYOR
Image

The problem is: How should it work in detail?
In my opinion it should be as simplest as possible and very flexible:
1. The ropeways should allow turns on the track. Otherwise you can't get around any indestructible landscape features like lakes or huge forests you don't want to chop down, which means killing some of their purpose. The turns should be either 30° or 45° turns - that way a 90° change in direction is either done by 2x45° or 3x30°... whatever the devs would prefer and looks better (maybe 45° increments only because we have the same for rails). Also making it a chore to setup the ropeways at the same time while making them only go straight (thereby rather inflexible) will render them pretty much unused by majority because why would one want to deal with something that is inflexible and a lot of work at the same time? (MeduSalem's idea)
2. They shouldn't be limited in length, but longer ropeways will be slower.
3. Placement of the poles should work like Big Electric Poles work, maybe even with a similar if not the same range between the poles.
4. As of size of the stations, I think they should be medium in size... the best would be rectangular 5x3, but square 4x4 also would be nice.
5. They should move every type of items: for example 10 per car.
6. Only one of the stations should be powered to move whole ropeway.
7. The item throughput of the ropeway should be the same as the fast transport belt on the middle distances.

Image

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:37 am

Like, like, like!! Yes. But I'll move that from General to suggestions, cause that's needs it. I left a link In general.


Edit: makes total sense with the boxing mod (https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ing#p59207 )

You have two stations and the more boxes you fill into the stations, the tighter the boxes are hanging. Ideal for connecting some small outpost mines to an outpost train station.
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by SuperSandro2000 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:31 am

Some one should realy make a mod with that idea. BIG LIKE

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by hitzu » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:56 am

This is awesome! Not only because it perfectly fit in the game style, but also because this device would occupy a niche between conweyors and trains. I think it should appear on early stages of the game, maybe even on pre-steel age.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by keyboardhack » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:33 am

Not only does it look cool, but it also make perfect sense as an alternative to trains and belts.
Factorio will get 10+ to awesomeness if this is implemented!
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by MF- » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:27 am

I didn't understand it's not a "people" transport before I saw the "real thing" pics from the other thread.
This "aerial bucketway" sounds really cool.


Do more advanced of those systems support any kind of junctions?
EDIT: Right. I'd just break the line. Unload, sort, Reload

What about in-factorio electricity consumption?
To me it seems it wouldn't be fair to request any, just like with belts,
since the material cost would be enough of an obstacle I think.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cordylus » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:05 am

I think the biggest advantage of this system would be not interfering with the terrain obstacles. No more chopping trees on the transport way! The ropeway can deliver stuff to the middle of factory; above the working machines and other complicated setups.
hitzu wrote:I think it should appear on early stages of the game, maybe even on pre-steel age.
It would make sense. In the real life the ropeway conveyors were invented a long time before trains and transport belts. First ropeway conveyor on a multiple support were built in 1644 in Gdańsk:
Image

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cloner » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:37 am

+1 I want this !

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by katyal » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:11 pm

Imagine this + hoppers to fill trains

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:56 pm

Some linking:

https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =27&t=7845 The longest industrial ropeway

And we had that theme already, several times. But not as ropeway, only as funicular. This was discussed, how to connect mining outposts to the main factory:

https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... lar#p23520 Conveyor Belt Router
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... lar#p28870 Outpost logistics

But I think the current vision is so super clear, that it suddenly makes much more sense, than all other possibilities (carts on monorails, self-driving carts (on streets), and many more)...

Another game I also want to mention is Darwinia where I took this pic from:
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by katyal » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:22 pm

Funicular now theres a word you don't hear everyday :D Thanks for that ssilk I'm always amazed at your linking prowess!

I knew similar ideas had been proposed in the past but I just feel like it can't be said enough until it actually makes its way into the game :D

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cordylus » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:12 pm

Here is a great video clearly explaining how exactly the ropeway conveyor works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEb9jVoY9aY

It's a ropeway line in the Czech Republic. It has about 7 km long.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by hitzu » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:33 pm

Cordylus wrote:Here is a great video clearly explaining how exactly the ropeway conveyor works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEb9jVoY9aY

It's a ropeway line in the Czech Republic. It has about 7 km long.
Ok, this requires hand work. In your mind how an automatic ropeway station should look like and work in Factorio to compete in size with train stations?

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cloner » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:46 pm

hitzu wrote:In your mind how an automatic ropeway station should look like and work in Factorio to compete in size with train stations?
Like inserters hanging down on a ropeline, picking items from specified spot and dropping to another specified spot.
Or an assembler-like factory that packs items on carrages and another one that unpacks them.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cordylus » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:37 pm

I think that loading station should work like the active provider chest and the unloading station like a storage chest.
Wagons can act as the logistic robots moving on the predefined way between these stations and pylons. Wagon could transport of course much more items than a robot.
Each ropeway line would be a separate logistic network.

I think that, in this way ropeways could be added to game by the lua mod.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by SuperSandro2000 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:58 pm

Cordylus wrote:I think that loading station should work like the active provider chest and the unloading station like a storage chest.
Wagons can act as the logistic robots moving on the predefined way between these stations and pylons. Wagon could transport of course much more items than a robot.
Each ropeway line would be a separate logistic network.

I think that, in this way ropeways could be added to game by the lua mod.
Now someone must make it.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cordylus » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:58 am

hitzu wrote: Ok, this requires hand work. In your mind how an automatic ropeway station should look like and work in Factorio to compete in size with train stations?
Here's a video showing an fully automated, modern station of the ropeway conveyor in Savona, Italy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9WdBXlpHCQ


The ropeway is 16 km long and has two paralel lines:


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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by hitzu » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:52 pm

This station is too complicated for the game and discredits the whole concept of simple and easy to build medium capacity transportation network. In my mind there should be only one part that behave differently on different conditions. First of all I think a piece should be 2x2 — it is a reasonable size that fit 2x2 burners — you can directly build one opposite another in a rows, connecting them with inserters. Both ending pieces are always stations and you can expand it by building adjacent pieces, if there is a gap then the piece transforms into a mast. Each station piece provide two wagons. There can be no more than two wagons between two masts, one on each side. In tweak menu you can assing the direction the cable moves — clockwise or anti-clockwise. It affects what side of the stations would be loading or unloading.

It remains only to someone make it. :D

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:48 pm

Hmmmm.

Time to add some words, so that this will not end in a system "like transport belts" or "addition to the logistic system" or some "slow train". Or whatever. ;)

I go again back to the start, last spring, where we discussed the need of some fourth transport system. High throughput, over middle to long distances, quite cheap and ultrafast to built, but slow and reliable. (not trains, nor bots, nor belts).
We came out with something, that might carry one full stack of something. See the second post of this thread. This is now 10 month ago.


Now I tell you how the story will continue. :) (of course only my current opinion)


We had the discussions about the endgame. Mounting stuff on a frame. That it is unrealistic to have a diesel loco in your inventory, the heavy items from this thread: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=7475
Maybe you cannot put them on belts. And you need special wagons. And a bot can transport only one of them. Just some ideas throwing in. :)

And now the third idea:
There is this nice Boxing mod https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7481

This is really, really cool. I played now around with it, I "optimized" some of my old factories with it and I must say, this is something, that must be included in the game, cause it will enable us to go far, far, far, far faster, than now. Unloading 20000 iron in 5 seconds. Unboxing 3000 iron per minute with one assembly, bots have suddenly ultra-short ways. And lots of more advantages.

Well, some will say of course, why is that needed?
It will be needed, think to the comming endgame. You need to mine 10000 ores per minute or more. :o
The "boxes" (I think wagons is too misleading) could really be a solution for everything, it saves for example much CPU-time.


And what has this to do with the ropeway? The boxes are hanging on the rope. They the same boxes!
Place the two stations (there is no direction!) the rope and poles connect automatically (like planned for railway), one station needs power and then you can put some boxes into the station and it will be taken and put on the rope.

On the other side the box is taken from the rope and put into the output inventory.
The station can of course be filled with empty OR filled boxes. :)

How to fill or empty boxes?
There are "hoper" or "silos" (many threads about that), some assembly like stuff, which connect all together.
You can feed a belt into it, or out. Or it fills a wagon, or empties it. Of course you can connect inserter,s which work like normal - and you need many inserters to fill or empty that thing without loosing speed. :) Might be possible to add a logistic module, so that logistic bots can also fill/unfill (they can take only one box, and only with full cargo researched).


How is that new? How will we have fun with that?
Well, the handling of the full and empty boxes are then a completely new game. It's really fantastic. I enjoyed this changed game very much, it is a bit like transporting oil in barrels, but somehow astonishing easy and relaxing, and at the same time it gives the game a total speed boost, think about it: one box contains 50 ore. A wagon can be loaded with 200 boxes, that is 10000 ore per wagon! The ropeway can transport for example 1 box per second (50 items per second for ores), for comparison: the express belt can transport only 30 per second, but you can built reallyvery fast a second ropeway; within seconds! And for smelted stuff, the stacks are doubled.
We will have suddenly a transport in both directions: empty boxes to outposts or some specialized production sites. And full boxes will return. That is exactly what the ropeway will do: both directions!

And all you need are tons of boxes. That will limit the usage for long distances. Then you will use again trains. And that is also the exact usage: having bigger and smaller outposts. The bigger have train stations and the smaller are anywhere in distance.
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Bleda » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:27 pm

If one of these boxes can carry a full stack of anything, this system WILL replace trains. No need to lay tracks? No need to build complicated stations and signals? No problems with obstacles?

It would be just too handy an powerful.

Right now, there are three transportation systems. One is fast, one is small and flexible and one is smaller, more flexible and intelligent. The problem is with the latter. The bots are so powerful, that a lot of players choose not to use them, because they take away the fun. The only problem they have is that their range is very limited. I feel like some people here want something like logistic bots for long distances.

I think trains are great for long distances. They use up a lot of space and are no good for short distances, but they are really fast. Building the train system is an interesting task in itself (not like setting up requester chests).

I say, if there is something that should be improved about transportation, it's the logistic bots. They should be replaced by something more interesting to set up and organize.

The cable car thing does look awesome. The best use I see for it is for connecting early outposts to the main base, before trains become available. I would limit it to raw ores and coal, like they are used in reality. And make them simple two-point connections with stations that are loaded and unloaded by inserters. They would still be useful in late game to hook up smaller mining outposts to big railway stations. Of course, they should be somewhat cheaper to build and more efficient than basic belts. maybe they could be less vulnerable to biters, too.

As for the need for bigger quantities in the late game that's yet to come: There's no need for a new way of transport that just multiplies throughput magically. As the game is now, you hardly need a train with more than 4 cars. In the future late-game we might need trains with 10 or more cars – and a lot of them. With some improvements to the train system (pre-signals, intelligent train stops) this will be much more interesting than just magically compressing stacks of ores into boxes the size of one ore unit.

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