Since the development of the drilling industry, the process for removing drill solids from the drilling fluid has culminated in the use of solid control equipments.

   Correct use of solids-control equipment is essential to maintain drilling fluid within its desired properties and to avoid generation of unnecessary waste streams during drilling. Since the early 1930s, the shale shaker has been the dominant device for primary solids removal. Additional equipment such as desilters, desanders, and centrifuges are often used to maintain proper solids control.

   The optimum solids-control design for a particular drilling fluid may not be generally valid for all fluid types. For example, a combination of shaker and screens applicable for treating water-based drilling fluids may not be suitable for treating oil-based drilling fluids. Furthermore, the suitability of the screen and shaker combination may change during drilling because the drill-cuttings morphology changes.

   During the last few decades, major shaker-design improvements have been made. The circular-motion shakers used up till the 1980s have been replaced by elliptical-motion and linear-motion shakers. Furthermore, double-deck, or even triple-deck, shakers have been implemented in the industry.