After a time delay determined by the RC time constant values of C1 and R2, this voltage rises to the threshold value of the CMOS inverter gate. The gate's output then falls toward zero volts and drives Q1 and relay RY 'ON'. The relay then remains on until power is removed from the circuit. When that occurs, capacitor C1 discharges rapidly through diode D1 and R1, completing the sequence.
The time delay can be controlled by different values for C1 and R2. The delay is approximately 0.5 seconds for every µF as value for C1. The delay can further be made variable by replacing R2 with a fixed and a variable resistor equal to that of the value of R2. Taken the value for R2 of 680K, it would be a combination of 180K for the fixed resistor in series with a 500K variable trim pot. The fixed resistor is necessary.