Smooth operations of solids-separation equipment are accomplished with proper planning and utilization of the needed equipment to efficiently and effectively remove drilled solids from a drilling fluid. This chapter provides guidelines to ensure the smooth and efficient operations of solids-removal equipment and associated drilling-fluid equipment. This chapter is primarily directed toward rig personnel as a practical guideline for better drilling practices. Many of these suggestions and guidelines are discussed in much greater detail in other chapters of this book. This chapter consists of three sections: Solids Control Equipment Guidelines and operations of the various solids-removal equipment; Equipment Guidelines and additional thoughts and considerations for smooth operations of the various drilling-fluid handling equipment and tankage; Solids Management Checklist and questions to consider for proper sizing, selection, and operation of a solids-management system.

The results of the smooth operation of a solids-management system are reduced well cost and reduced well problems. So many well problems have been traced back to poor solids removal over the years. Understanding the solids-removal and drilling-fluid handling equipment and the capabilities of this equipment will reduce, if not eliminate, many hole problems.

The additional information and lessons learned in the following sections will help to achieve smooth operations of solids-separation equipment and drilling fluid handling equipment needed for drilling a trouble-free well efficiently and economically.