I invented a novel process improvement (accelerating the speed of graphite lithiation) at work and the initial test results are promising, and warrant further investigation. This could end up being a big win for the company.
What makes a novel process improvement? Well I’m also working on a machine, and, although I won’t release any details, let’s say that it reduces the amount of rework required for a part of a manufacturing process. That makes the machine a process improvement, but it is not a novel process improvement, because we could pay other engineers to supply a machine that does the same thing. My machine may contain parts that are novel, but it’s not a novel process improvement.
The patent application is written and filed. This was a good personal accomplishment, I only wish that I could have continued with its development. Unfortunately the assignee became extraordinarily hostile shortly after this application was completed, and I had to leave for my own safety and peace of mind.