Advance Process Industry Operations by Harnessing Rosemount™ X-well™ Technology

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Measurement Instrumentation, Temperature | 0 comments

Temperature measurement is a critical parameter in various industries, including the process industry, where precise control of temperature is essential for optimizing efficiency, ensuring product quality, and maintaining safety standards. Traditional temperature measurement methods often require intrusive sensors and thermowells that can lead to operational disruptions and potential contamination risks. The emergence of non-intrusive temperature measurement techniques, particularly Emerson’s Rosemount X-well Technology, has transformed process temperature monitoring in the process industry. This blog explores four different applications where Rosemount X-well Technology is making significant strides, revolutionizing processes, and enhancing operational excellence.

     1. Chemical Processing

Chemical processing involves a wide range of reactions that are sensitive to temperature variations. Traditional temperature measurement methods, such as thermocouples and Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs), often require insertion into the process stream, leading to challenges such as corrosion, fouling, and potential leakage. Rosemount X-well Technology avoids the use of a thermowell, which requires pipe penetration. By affixing sensors to the exterior of pipes, the technology enables real-time process monitoring without interrupting the process flow. This approach enhances safety, reduces maintenance downtime, and improves overall process efficiency.

Figure 1: Rosemount X-well installed at a customer’s site in a Reaction Process.

     2. Oil and Gas Refining

In the oil and gas refining industry, accurate temperature measurement is vital for optimizing various processes, from distillation to catalytic cracking. Rosemount X-well Technology proves particularly advantageous in this context. Refineries often operate at high temperatures and pressures, making traditional intrusive sensors susceptible to failure and calibration drift. With the non-intrusive approach, sensors are mounted on the exterior of pipelines, ensuring reliable process temperature data collection without exposure to harsh conditions. This technology aids in preventing unscheduled shutdowns, reducing maintenance costs, and increasing the longevity of monitoring equipment.

Figure 2:  Rosemount X-well is a great solution for Offshore platforms in both wired and wireless communication types.

     3. Food and Beverage Production

Temperature plays a pivotal role in food and beverage production, influencing product quality, safety, and regulatory compliance. Intrusive sensors in the food industry pose contamination risks and are challenging to clean effectively. Rosemount X-well offers a hygienic solution by eliminating the need for thermowell insertion. By using surface-mounted sensors, the technology ensures accurate process temperature monitoring while adhering to strict hygiene standards. This approach is especially beneficial in applications such as pasteurization, fermentation, and cooking, where maintaining precise temperature control is crucial.

Figure 3: Rosemount X-well on a Sterilization Pipe in a Food & Beverage Plant

     4. Power Generation

Efficient heat management is central to power generation processes, whether in conventional coal-fired plants or modern nuclear reactors. Monitoring temperature variations in critical components, such as steam pipes and cooling systems, is vital for ensuring safe and reliable operations. Rosemount X-well Technology provides an effective means of acquiring process temperature data without interfering with the power generation process. By avoiding the need for a thermowell and pipe protrusion, the technology minimizes the risk of mechanical failures, optimizes energy efficiency, and contributes to the overall stability of power generation facilities.

Figure 4: Rosemount X-well Technology installed on a pipe to calculate energy balance on a heat exchanger application.





Pipe & Vessel Insulation No impact on measurement   Impact is application dependent
Pipe Size Not suitable for pipe size <2” in diameter Supports pipe diameters from 0.5” to 60”
Installation Thermowells require drilling, hot work, screw tapping or welding, and process shutdowns. No shutdown or pipe modifications are required
Service Life Media dependent and prone to resonance issues Longer expected lifespan
Maintenance of Device Thermowells are difficult to replace, process shutdown is required Easy sensor replacement, no shutdown required
Maintenance of Pipe or Vessel Thermowells can interfere with pipe or vessel cleaning No interference
Disturbance to Media Thermowells can disturb media but not significantly. Application dependent No impact on media


Table 1: Comparison between Intrusive & Non-Intrusive Temperature Measurement


Rosemount X-well Technology is transforming the landscape of temperature monitoring in the process industry. Its applications extend across diverse sectors, from chemical processing to power generation, revolutionizing the way temperature data is collected and utilized. By eliminating the drawbacks associated with intrusive sensors, this technology enhances safety, reduces maintenance costs, and elevates process efficiency. As the technology continues to advance, it holds the promise of even broader applications and a future where process temperature measurement without thermowells becomes the standard in the process industry.

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