Olympus Logo
Industrial Solutions
Application Notes
Back to Resources

Surface roughness of single-portion containers of coffee cream

Micron-area shape measurement using a laser microscope

Coffee cream single-serve cup
Coffee cream single-serve cup


Many people put cream or syrup in their coffee at home or when eating out. Some of these liquids are packaged in small, single-serve plastic cups. Before they are filled, the stacked cups are taken out one by one and then filled with the liquid. When stacked cups are taken out by a machine, each cup must be easily removed from the stack to facilitate the filling process. Measuring the surface roughness of the convex area of the cup that makes direct contact with the next cup in the stack is important to help ensure that each cup is easily removed by the machine. If the surface is too rough, the cups may get stuck together.

The Olympus solution

Olympus' LEXT 3D laser scanning microscope makes it easy to capture 3D shape measurements with high resolution and high precision, enabling accurate profile measurement of the roughness of a surface and the depth (or height) of surface irregularities. The LEXT microscope provides the same roughness (two-dimensional) parameters as contact-type microscopes do, providing measurement results that are compatible with contact microscopes. The LEXT microscope also provides three-dimensional roughness parameters that comply with ISO25178, providing more information than line roughness through surface-area evaluation using 3D images as well as numerical data. It would be difficult for conventional contact-type microscopes accurately measure the cups because it is difficult to place the stylus on the top of the corrugated and chamfered container. Scanning electron microscopes, primarily used for observation, require a metal layer to be deposited and have difficulty evaluating roughness quantitatively. These challenging issues are solved by the LEXT microscope, which enables non-contact measurement at low to high magnification without losing sight of the small area to be measured and without the need for deposition.

Plastic container for gum syrup_ob100×z1×_surface roughness
Surface roughness measurement

Olympus IMS

Products used for this application


With the Olympus LEXT OLS5000 laser scanning confocal microscope, noncontact, nondestructive 3D observations and measurements are easy to produce. Simply by pushing the Start button, users can measure fine shapes at the submicron level. Ease of use is combined with leading-edge features to deliver an acquisition speed four times faster than our previous model. For customers with larger samples, LEXT long working distance objectives and an extended frame option allow the system to accommodate samples as large as 210 mm.
Sorry, this page is not available in your country

Let us know what you're looking for by filling out the form below.

This site uses cookies to enhance performance, analyze traffic, and for ads measurement purposes. If you do not change your web settings, cookies will continue to be used on this website. To learn more about how we use cookies on this website, and how you can restrict our use of cookies, please review our Cookie Policy.