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< Transport network

Inserters are the fundamental components used to move items from one part of the factory to another. They are a vital component in almost all contraptions. They look and operate like a robot arm: they take items from behind and place them in front. For example, inserters can move items between machines, into or out of storage (such as chests) or onto transport belts.

Inserter Mechanics

Inserters will:

Inserters act differently depending on what they are moving items to/into so as not to monopolize all of the items being picked up. This allows other machines and inserters on the same transport belt to pick up a share of the items.

Insertion Limits

Inserters will not insert into certain buildings if they already have, or are above of, a certain amount of items; it will simply seize to function until space has been made, and it will resume insertion.

For example, if a boiler has 5 or more pieces of fuel in it, then an inserter will not insert additional fuel until it has 4 or less.

Entity Item type Inserter-limit Comment
Boilers, Burner inserters, Furnaces Fuel 5 Modders should avoid recipes for furnaces with fuel.
Gun turrets Magazines 10 Since v0.8.4
Assembling machines Items needed for the recipe twice the items needed in the recipe
Furnaces Items needed for the recipe twice the items needed in the recipe
Labs Science packs twice the items needed for one research point

An inserter, which takes items from a chest or another assembly (anything, which has Storage/Stacks), can overfill due to the Inserter item stack size. The same happens, if you load with more than one inserter.

Inserters and transport belts

  • Inserters will always place the item on the further lane.
  • Inserters prefer taking items on the near lane.
When taking from a belt, they might change this initial direction!
  • The end of the belt places the items in it onto the next Tile, so that the inserter can grep it. The last input should be one off. This can prevent the two items from simply sitting there at the end of the belt.
  • Inserters can place items on
    • All types of conveyor belts
    • Underground-belt (entry and exit)
    • Curves, but their behavior is then very "special" and the items have a big chance to block.
    • They cannot place on splitter
  • Inserters can pick up from
    • Splitters
    • First half of the conveyor belt
  • Inserters have problems to pick up
    • from fast belts, cause the items are moving too fast for them.
    • picking up from curves
    • from the entry/exit of an underground belt

Inserters and Transport Belts

Transport belts have two lanes on which items can travel. When Inserters place an item on the belt, they place it on the lane furthest from them (see above).

If you want to rearrange the items on the belts see : Transport_belts/Belt_lane#Changing_side_of_lane

Power usage


Item Total raw Max power Speed (Rot/sec) Range (tiles) Special
Burner inserter 180 W (burner) 0.6
1 Only inserter using Fuel. Since v0.10.0 it will insert items with fuel value into itself when it has an empty inventory.
Placeholder icon.png
12.6 W (electric) 0.8
1 Standard inserter.
Long handed inserter
Placeholder icon.png
18 W (electric) 1.1
2 Only inserter with higher range.
Fast inserter
Placeholder icon.png
31.5 W (electric) 2
1 Basic faster inserter.
Smart inserter.png
Smart inserter
Placeholder icon.png
Placeholder icon.png
44.1 W (electric) 2
1 Only inserter connectable to Circuit networks and with configurable working condition, such as filtering in only a specific set of items

Special behavior

See also