The intermittence of the shape detection signal associated with an entire roller-embedded shapemeter roll, used in a seven-pass cold reversible rolling process, is considered. A transient interference at the sensor top surface and the distance between the sensor top surface and the roll outer surface are developed, and a sensor reliability evaluation model is derived. The reliability of the sensor is evaluated via the random perturbation method, and the reliability sensitivity of design variables is proposed. The analysis reveals that the reliability is smallest in the third rolling pass. Of the design variables considered, the initial interference exhibits the largest reliability sensitivity and has the greatest influence on the sensor reliability. A reliability robust design model of the initial interference is therefore developed. A new shapemeter roll is fabricated and tested in a 1050 reversible cold rolling mill. The test results are consistent with the theoretical results, thereby validating the proposed model. The selection of an appropriate initial interference provides an important means of overcoming the adverse effects associated with the thermal deformation of sensor contact surfaces.