Storage is the concept of storing items. Under normal circumstances, it's unnecessary to store many different types of items. Instead, the player should keep items flowing by passing them as fast as possible/affordable from production step to the next step to create higher level items, instead of storing them.
- Stack: a stack is the basic element to store items. A stack goes into a slot in an inventory.
- Chests: the most common form of storage.
- Vehicle: Vehicles can store a significant amount of items.
- Transport belts: The amount of items on a transport belt can be deceptively high, especially at train stops and in production where this must be taken into account. Splitters and underground belts also hold a small amount of items.
The most common form of storage, buffers, are useful when a factory only uses a resource intermittently. By creating a buffer, one can assure that the resource being buffered is always present when it's needed, very important for items that are slow to produce. Buffers can also be used to ensure that certain items are always being produced or mined.
Some examples of buffers include:
- Belts store about 72 items per 10 belts when both sides of the belt are used.
- Chests can be used to create larger buffers of items.
- Machine Buffer
- Assembling machines and other production machines can hold a very small amount of items in their output slot. They will stop working until these items are emptied.
Fluids are not items, and have their own dedicated infrastructure. Fluid containers can only hold one type of fluid at a time, as opposed to item inventories that can hold stacks of different items. Fluids can be stored in one of the following:
- Storage tank: the chest analogue for fluids. Holds up to 25,000 units of fluid.
- Fluid wagon: effectively a set of 3 storage tanks.
- Pipe: the transport belt analogue for fluids.
- Barrels: most fluids in the game (except for Steam) can be put into barrels that hold 250 units of fluid each. Barreling a fluid effectively converts it into an items, making it possible to storage and transport it with the same infrastructure used for other items.