Engineering drawings are commonly used across different industries such as oil and gas, mechanical engineering and others. Digitising these drawings is becoming increasingly important. This is mainly due to the legacy of drawings and documents that may provide rich source of information for industries. Analysing these drawings often requires applying a set of digital image processing methods to detect and classify symbols and other components. Despite the recent significant advances in image processing, and in particular in deep neural networks, automatic analysis and processing of these engineering drawings is still far from being complete. This paper presents a general framework for complex engineering drawing digitisation. A thorough and critical review of relevant literature, methods and algorithms in machine learning and machine vision is presented. Real-life industrial scenario on how to contextualise the digitised information from specific type of these drawings, namely piping and instrumentation diagrams, is discussed in details. A discussion of how new trends on machine vision such as deep learning could be applied to this domain is presented with conclusions and suggestions for future research directions.