If you want to buffer a resource, you normally want this behaviour:
All this can be achieved with a simple configuration:
For demonstration purposes I used the loader from the mod "Deadlock's Compact Loaders", but you can also use e.g. the vanilla stack inserters.
All our wanted behaviour from our list is done perfectly:
As long as the incoming resource can freely flow, the buffer isn't used. If there is the slightest backlog, the "buffer input gates" are opened and the buffer fills. And if there is the slightest free space on the conveyor belt, the "buffer output gates" are opened and missing/empty places on the conveyor belt are filled perfectly with the resources from the buffer.
Hint: The "output priority" setting on the left splitter (with the filter "coal") isn't really needed and can be left inactive, if you want. This setting prevents that the upper side of the left splitter fills with a handful of resources, which are in a dead end then.
To have a better look on the resource flow, I extended the space between loader and splitter a little:
If you want a visual warning when your buffer runs empty over time, have a look at my other tutorial How to create a warning signal if there is a resource shortage?.
END OF TUTORIAL.
Written by Tobias Wiersch. Factorio 0.17. Last change: 2019-03-11 (V1)
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