So guys this is nothing spectacular just a tool I hoped to share with some of our newer members. We get a bit hung up on debatable things around here and I'd just like to share something simple.
Here's a really simple build I use to keep just a set amount of some manufactured materials on hand, so I can set my fabricators to "forever" but not actually go forever. In other words, so I don't have to keep micro managing when to shut off my polymer presses or how much gold to refine. This automation just keeps a set amount on hand, then stops building, and also pauses to prevent overheating. You can use it for anything! [plastic - ceramic - refined metals - whatever]
example 1: a self-cooled plastic manufacturing plant that runs continuously until we have 8t of plastic
The polymer presses exhaust steam, the steam condenses. The pump activates briefly if that liquid sensor sees more than 50kg of water, to keep the presses from flooding. We use that thin layer of water for cooling.
The regular compactor to the left is set to priority 4 / plastic only (this is overflow)
The smart compactor is set to priority 6 / 8t & plastic only.
This way when dupes pick up plastic they will grab from the overflow bin first, and the presses stay off unless we actually start emptying the smart compactor.
cooling: I've located this plastic plant directly above a source of cold fluid, in this case, a slush geyser. If that temp sensor goes above 50C, the shutoff valve opens. Liquid valve is set to 3000g/s just to save power.
Automation: just a not gate on that smart compactor allows the presses to run if the smart compactor isn't full to 8t.
Some of these other examples have slight variations in the automation. But I've hidden them inside spoiler tags.
example 2: sand production. (variation: I use a lot of sand. So I noticed that the rock crushers would cycle on and off too much making for very short errands. So that's why there's an overflow bin / and a buffer that keeps the crushers active for another 200 seconds after the smart compactor is full. No cooling on this one, the air around it is enough. It will shut off 200 seconds after the storage fills up OR the sensed temperature exceeds 50C)